Michael J. Fox Commended by Academy; Cher gives Diane Warren her first Oscar

LOS ANGELES – Michael J. Fox was lauded for his work in finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease and Cher presented songwriter Diane Warren with a long-awaited Oscar at the Governors Awards on Saturday night.

Directors Peter Weir and Euzhan Palcy also received honorary Oscars at the awards ceremony presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Awards contenders, including Jennifer Lawrence, Florence Pugh, Angela Bassett, Eddie Redmayne, Michelle Williams, Cate Blanchett, Brendan Fraser, Tom Hanks, Glen Powell and Janelle Monáe, attended the black-tie event billed as the official season opener for Hollywood film awards.

Fox, 61, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 29 in 1991, used the Bruce Springsteen song “No Surrender” to describe his battle to find a cure for the degenerative brain disorder.

“It’s kind of my personal anthem,” Fox said, quoting the words of the song from the podium: “No retreat, no surrender.”

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Presenting the award, his longtime friend Woody Harrelson said Fox “turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission” by founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation to search for a cure. The foundation has raised more than $1 billion for research.

“He never asked for the role of Parkinson’s lawyer, but it’s his best performance,” Harrelson said. “Michael J. Fox sets the ultimate example of how to fight and how to live.”

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