Michael J. Fox: Woody Harrelson presents him with an honorary Oscar

Michael J.

Michael J. Fox: Woody Harrelson presents him with an honorary Oscar

Michael J. Fox (61) received a special honor on Saturday evening at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles: he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors Awards. The Honorary Oscar is given to individuals in the film industry "whose humanitarian efforts have brought recognition to the industry". After falling ill with Parkinson's disease, the actor founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF).

Fellow actor Woody Harrelson (61) presented Fox with the award with a warm hug. In his speech, Harrelson said of his good friend, according to Variety, "He didn't choose to be a Parkinson's patient or an advocate for the disease, but let's face it, it's his greatest performance. Vulnerable - yes. A victim - never. Always an inspiration and the voice to drive progress toward healing." Today, Fox is as loved for his activism as he is for his acting.

"It's a totally unexpected honor and I'm really grateful," Fox said upon accepting the award. Speaking of his work raising money for Parkinson's research, he said, "I realized that everything I was given - success, my life with Tracy, my family - prepared me for this profound opportunity and responsibility . It was a gift." Fox and his wife Tracy Pollan (62), to whom he has been married since 1988, have four children. The family was present at the awards ceremony.

Songwriter Diane Warren (66), director Euzhan Palcy (64) and director Peter Weir (78) also received honorary awards that evening. Warren received her first Oscar after 13 Oscar nominations.