Michael J. Fox receives standing ovation for surprise appearance onstage at BAFTAs | CBC News


Michael J. Fox made a surprise appearance onstage during Sunday night’s BAFTA Film Awards as he presented the prize for best film to Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.

The 62-year-old Canadian-American actor, who is living with Parkinson’s disease and uses a wheelchair, stood at the podium and addressed the crowd. Stars like Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr. and Margot Robbie gave a standing ovation as Fox took the stage.

“No matter who you are or where you’re from, these films can bring us together,” Fox said of the nominated films Oppenheimer, Poor Things, Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers and Killers of the Flower Moon. 

“There’s a reason why they say movies are magic,” he continued. “Because a movie can change your day. It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can even change your life.”

WATCH | Michael J. Fox makes surprise onstage appearance at the BAFTAs: 

Michael J. Fox gets standing ovation at BAFTAs

Michael J. Fox, a legendary actor known for his advocacy work around Parkinson’s disease, drew massive applause when he presented the prize for best film at the BAFTA awards in London.

Earlier in the evening, the Back To The Future star walked the BAFTA red carpet with his wife, Tracy Pollan. 

While not nominated himself, a documentary about Fox called Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie was nominated for a BAFTA this year. It lost to the Ukrainian film 20 Days in Mariupol.

The film documents Fox’s life with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 when he was 29 years old and already a movie star.

He kept the diagnosis a secret for seven years because he wanted to stay in control of his narrative as he adjusted to a new normal, he told CBC’s Harry Forestell, who is also living with Parkinson’s disease, in a May 2023 interview.

“They were going to tell my story for me before I knew what my story was,” he said at the time.

In 2000, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which has raised more than $1.5 billion toward advancements in Parkinson’s research.

WATCH | Harry Forestell’s wide-ranging interview with Michael J. Fox: 

Michael J. Fox emerges from the darkness of Parkinson’s

Michael J. Fox is proud to be the face of Parkison’s, but it hasn’t always been that way. The actor-turned-activist met in New York with CBC’s Harry Forestell, who is also living with Parkinson’s, to talk about learning to accept the disease and opening up about his fight in the new documentary, STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie.


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