Back to the Future hero Michael J. Fox received an Oscar for his battle with Parkinson’s disease

Michael J. Fox receiving his Oscar from actor Woody Harrelson, Saturday November 19, 2022, at the 13e edition of the Governors Awards. VALERIE MACON / AFP

Diagnosed at 29, the former actor was awarded the prize on Saturday at the Governors Awards. Very moved, he assured that he had “done nothing heroic”.

The star of Back to the future,Michael J. Foxwas awarded an honorary Oscar for her action in favor of the fight against Parkinson’s diseasea neurodegenerative condition from which the Canadian actor has suffered for thirty years.

Aged 61, he received the statuette for the humanitarian commitment of a personality from the world of cinema, during a gala evening on Saturday evening in Los Angeles where all-Hollywood crowded.

“You make me tremble, stop it!” the actor joked as he received a standing ovation before qualifying the award “totally unexpected honor”. Michael J. Fox gained star status in the trilogy Back to the future (Back to the Future), tour between 1985 and 1990, in which he played Marty McFlya teenager traveling through time.

A life spent with the disease

In 1991, when he was only 29 years old, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and was told that he had only ten years of activity ahead of him. Some 10 million people worldwide suffer from this disease which affects motor functions.

He turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous commitment

Actor Woody Harrelson on Michael J. Fox

Woody Harrelsonwho played with him in Doc Hollywood at the time of this diagnosis, told the public on Saturday that he “didn’t believe it, because Mike had such invincible, super-human qualities”. “He never indulged in self-pity, on the contrary he transformed a chilling diagnosis into a courageous commitment”he added.

Michael J. Fox, who rose to fame in the 1980s with the NBC sitcom sacred family (Family Ties), went public with his illness in 1998, when the hit television series was released Spin City. He went into partial retirement a few years later, devoting himself to his foundation to finance research against Parkinson’s disease, and raising more than a billion dollars. ‘I didn’t do anything heroic’he assured on Saturday.

The comedian, who retired from filming permanently in 2020, suffered multiple bone fractures and other injuries from falls in recent months, requiring shoulder surgery. On Saturday he walked the stage, asking his wife and former partner in Holy family, Tracy Pollan, to help carry her statuette.

Diane Warren also rewarded

The honorary Oscars are awarded to reward the work of a lifetime, and since 2009 have been the subject of a separate award from the main ceremony, with an overloaded program. Among the main distinguished personalities are the actresses Angelina Jolie and Liz Taylorand the star host Oprah Winfrey.

The golden statuette was also awarded on Saturday to Diane Warren, author-composer of hits like I Don’t Want to Miss a Thingby Aerosmith. Nominated thirteen times for Oscars, she had never won one before. “I have a lot of speeches that have remained crumpled up in my pockets”she joked, to loud applause.

Peter Weirthe Australian director of Witness, Dead Poets Society or The Truman Show, made a rare return to Hollywood to receive his Oscar. The French director Euzhan Palcyoriginally from Martinique, received the statuette for a career including, in 1989, A white and dry seasonfrom the novel byAndre Brink on apartheid in South Africa, with Marlon Brando in distribution. “My stories are neither white nor black, they are universal, colorful”did she say.

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Back to the Future hero Michael J. Fox received an Oscar for his battle with Parkinson’s disease