Michael J. Fox accepts honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s advocacy
LOS ANGELES — Canadian actor Michael J. Fox, who charmed audiences in 1980s TV comedy Family Ties and the Back to the Future movies, received an honorary Oscar on Saturday for advocacy work that has raised $1.5 billion for research into Parkinson’s disease.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a nerve disorder that causes tremors and other symptoms, at age 29. He later curtailed 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,” Fox, who grew up in Burnaby, 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.
The Canadian actor, now 61, was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, and introduced by friend Woody Harrelson.