Michael J. Fox receives honorary Oscar

Michael J. Fox receives honorary Oscar
Michael J. Fox receives honorary Oscar

Los Angeles: Michael J. Fox received an honorary Oscar on Saturday for his campaign to fund Parkinson’s research since he was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease at the height of his acting career.

Fox received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual statuette for humanitarian work from a movie industry figure at a Los Angeles gala packed with Hollywood’s biggest stars.

“You’re making me vibrate, stop it,” Fox joked as he received a standing ovation, before describing his award as “an entirely unexpected honor.”

Canadian actor Fox, 61, rose to fame in the “Back to the Future” movies playing time-traveling high school student Marty McFly.

The trilogy between 1985 and 1990 pushed DeLorean time machines and gravity-defying hoverboards into the popular imagination.

In 1991, at age 29, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and told he had 10 more years to work.

Worldwide, about 10 million people have Parkinson’s, which affects motor functions.

Woody Harrelson, who was co-starring with Fox in the movie “Doc Hollywood” at the time of his diagnosis, told audiences on Saturday, “I just couldn’t believe it because there’s such an invincible, superhuman quality about Mike.

“Well, he never missed a step, never wallowed in self-pity… instead he turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission,” he added.

Fox, who first gained fame with NBC’s 1980s sitcom “Family Ties”, publicly announced his illness in 1998 during the run of his second successful TV series “Spin City”.

A few years later, he semi-retired, devoted himself to his Parkinson’s foundation, and raised more than $1 billion for research.

“It was clear that an aging, underserved patient base could use some help,” he said.

“There was nothing heroic about what I did,” Fox said.

Fox, who retired from acting permanently in 2020, has suffered multiple bone fractures and injuries from falls in recent months, requiring surgery on his shoulder.

But he walked to and from the stage on Saturday, asking his wife and former “Family Ties” co-star Tracy Pollan to help carry his statuette away.

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