Michael J Fox will receive an honorary Oscar at this year’s Governors Awards.
The ‘Back to the Future’ actor – who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – has been hailed by Academy President David Rubin for his acting and “tireless” work supporting research into the degenerative disease through the Michael J Fox Foundation.
He said in a statement: “Michael J Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions.”
The honorary Oscar is given to acknowledge “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy”, the Academy said.
Fox – propelled to fame thanks to his part as Marty McFly in the ‘Back to the Future’ film franchise – has also been critically acclaimed for roles in ‘The Secret of My Success’, ‘Doc Hollywood’ and ‘Casualties of War’.
He founded the Michael J Fox Foundation for research into Parkinson’s in 2000, and has won five Emmys, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild awards and a Grammy.
Also getting honorary Oscars this year at the November 19 Governors Awards in Los Angeles are singer songwriter Diane Warren, 65, and directors Euzhan Palcy, 64, and Peter Weir, 77.
Each was said by the Academy’s Board of Governors to have been chosen as an honouree due to their “indelible contributions to cinema and the world at large”.
Warren was said by Rubin to have produced music that “have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists”.
Palcy received critical acclaim for her first feature film ‘Sugar Cane Alley’, which won the Silver Lion at the 1983 Venice Film Festival — a first for a black director.
Weir – who earned Oscar nominations as director for his films ‘Witness’, ‘Dead Poets Society’ and ‘The Truman Show’ – was said by Rubin to be a filmmaker of “consummate skill and artistry whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience”.