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Michael J. Fox receives standing ovation as he presents BAFTA Best Film to Oppenheimer

The Back to the Future actor is a Parkinson's advocate

Michael J Fox presents the Best Film Award on stage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024
Ainhoa Barcelona
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Michael J. Fox was on presenting duties on Sunday night as he announced the winner of Best Film at the BAFTAs

The Back to the Future actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991, stood up from his wheelchair to present the award to the director and stars of Oppenheimer, while his wife Tracy Pollan proudly watched from the audience.

The moving moment prompted a huge reaction from ceremony attendees at the Royal Festival Hall, with many standing up to applaud Michael and clapping at length.

Michael J Fox presents the Best Film Award on stage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024© Getty
Michael presented the Best Film Award to the cast and director of Oppenheimer

Before announcing the winner and as the applause died down, Michael said: "Thank you very much. Five films are nominated in this category tonight. All five have something in common. They are the best at what we do. No matter who you are or where you're from, these films can bring us together. 

"There's a reason why they say movies are magic, because movies can change your day. They can change your outlook, they can sometimes even change your life. The nominees are..."

Christopher Nolan directed blockbuster film Oppenheimer, which follows the story of the father of the atomic bomb. He was also recognised on the night with his Best Director gong. Meanwhile, Cillian Murphy was also named Leading Actor for his role in the film.

Michael has long been an advocate for Parkinson's. His new Apple TV+ documentary, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, was also nominated in the Best Documentary category, although lost out to 20 Days in Mariupol.

Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan attend the 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards© Getty
The actor was joined by his wife Tracy Pollan at the awards

The 62-year-old actor arrived at the BAFTAs with his wife of 36 years, Tracy. The couple posed on the red carpet, with Tracy looking stunning in a white floor-length gown that featured embellished detailing.

Earlier this month, Michael opened up about living with Parkinson's, calling it a "gift". Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he shared: "I would say it's a gift and people would look at me and I'd say it's a gift that keeps on taking, but it's a gift."

In 2000, he and wife Tracy founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which has been devoted towards fundraising research efforts to find a cure for Parkinson's. As of 2023, it has raised a whopping $2 billion.

Speaking of starting the foundation with Tracy, 63, Michael said: "I realised I had to turn it around and turn it into something and make it some positive thing that affected other people in a positive way. So I think that's why I started the foundation, but it took me a long time to get there."

On his new documentary, he also described it as being about when "an incurable optimist meets an incurable disease" and branded the disease "annoying." Michael added: "I have Parkinson's, I struggle with it. It's hard, it's annoying, it's a bit more than annoying but it can be devastating for some people."

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