Michael J Fox receives honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s advocacy – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Michael J Fox receives honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s advocacy

Image source: Fox News

Actor Michael J. Fox, who wowed audiences in the 1980s TV sitcom Family Ties and the Back to the Future movies, received an honorary Oscar Saturday for his advocacy work that raised $1.5 billion for the investigation of Parkinson’s disease.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a nerve disorder that causes tremors and other symptoms, at the age of 29. He later cut back on his acting career and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help fund the search for a cure in 2000.

“It is humbling in the deepest way to stand here and accept your kindness,” the Canadian actor said on stage at the annual Governors Awards, where an A-list crowd of stars including Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lawrence gave him a standing ovation, reports RTE.

Fox said the hardest part of his diagnosis was “grappling with the uncertainty” and that he kept his diagnosis private for years because he “I didn’t know if an audience could laugh if they knew I was struggling,” reports RTE.

The actor, now 61, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the board of directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that distributes the Oscars, and presented by his friend Woody Harrelson.

“He turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission,” the Cheers actor said, reports RTE.

Other Governors Award winners include prolific songwriter Diane Warren, whose songs have appeared in more than 100 films.

Warren, 66, has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song 13 times, but she has never won it.

“I’ve waited 34 years to say this: I’d like to thank the Academy,” Warren said to applause on Saturday, reports RTE.

Also honoured were Australian director Peter Weir, known for films like Witness and Dead Poets Society, and Euzhan Palcy, who became the first black woman to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio with A Dry White Season.

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