Scripps News Life


Michael J. Fox rose from wheelchair to standing ovation at BAFTAs

Michael J. Fox rose from wheelchair to standing ovation at BAFTAs
Posted at 9:51 AM, Feb 20, 2024

At the BAFTAs on Sunday in London, Michael J. Fox took to the stage in his wheelchair to present the award for Best Film. But as he neared the podium, he instead got up and took a few unaided steps, standing to announce the winner — and receive rapturous applause of his own.

In his speech announcing the winner, Fox remarked on the power of the medium. “No matter who you are or where you’re from, films can bring us together,” he said. “There’s a reason why they say movies are magic, because movies can change your day, they can change your outlook, sometimes it can even change your life.”

The A-list audience, visibly moved, took to their feet to applaud Fox and viewers took to social media to share reactions to the touching moment. Twitter/X user Matthew Ashton posted video of Fox’s speech alongside an emotional message of his own:

Another Twitter/X user who goes by RanaTells on the platform called Fox a “legend”:

Fox, 62, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at age 29. The degenerative condition is incurable and impacts the nervous system, causing tremors and issues with motor skills.

Post-diagnosis, Fox has largely retired from the limelight and the roles that made him a star in the 1980s — Alex P. Keaton on “Family Ties” and Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” trilogy, to name a few — but he was the feature of the Apple TV+ documentary “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” which was nominated for the Best Documentary BAFTA on Sunday. The documentary focuses on Fox’s home life with his family and how the disease impacts their day-to-day lives.

Though not on stage or screen, Fox has kept very busy since his diagnosis, launching the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has raised more than $2 billion to date.

“I recognize how hard this is for people, and I recognize how hard it is for me,” Fox told CBS Sunday Morning. “But I have a certain set of skills that allow me to deal with this stuff. And I realized, with gratitude, optimism is sustainable. And if you can find something to be grateful for, then you can find something to look forward to, and you carry on.”

MORE: How Michael J. Fox And Tracy Pollan Have Stayed Together For 30 Years

Michael J. Fox rose from wheelchair to standing ovation at BAFTAs originally appeared on