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Ryan Reynolds shares touching story involving his and Blake Lively's daughter James in heartfelt tribute

The Deadpool star shares four children with Blake and paid tribute to Michael J. Fox


Actor Ryan Reynolds (R) poses for a photo with his daughter, James Reynolds during a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California.
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
17 April 2024
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Michael J. Fox was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential people of the year, and he received the sweetest dedication from none other than Ryan Reynolds.

The 47-year-old Canadian-American actor and entrepreneur wrote a blurb for the star, 62, that captured his immense charm and perseverance through a personal anecdote.

"This man means a lot to me. And I know he means a lot to many of you…," Ryan wrote alongside the blurb when sharing it to social media, which even sheds some light on his relationship with his oldest of four children, nine-year-old James.

"I know Michael J. Fox. Like, I know him pretty damn well," he penned. "He's funny. He's warm. He's handsome and intensely smart. He also falls a lot. Not just because he has Parkinson's. He falls a lot because he's unafraid to fly."

He praised the Family Ties star for his Parkinson's disease advocacy and for showing that life doesn't end after your diagnosis. "I met Mike 17 years ago. I've watched him raise the bar for purpose and passion." 

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"It'd be kinda lazy to simply characterize him as the greatest champion of Parkinson's research on the planet," Ryan continued. "He's someone who helped my dad, along with millions of others, feel less alone." 

MORE: Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan's twin daughters are so grown up in unseen birthday photos from famous parents

"It'd be kinda lazy to simply regard him as a movie star who shaped the lives of people all over the planet with a uniquely electric wit and self-aware charm. He's the sum of these beautiful parts. And so many more."

Actor Ryan Reynolds speaks on stage during "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's" 2008 Benefit for The Michael J. Fox Foundation at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers on November 5, 2008 in New York City. This event raised over $4 million for Parkinson's disease research.© Getty Images
The actor has been a frequent supporter of the Michael J. Fox Foundation

On a more personal note, he expanded upon his daughter's unique connection to the actor that created a special bond between father and daughter. "Last year I watched Back to the Future with my 8-year-old daughter. It's become her [favorite] film. And for now, that's enough for me – and her. One more kid from one more generation sees what I saw."

MORE: Blake Lively says 'dreams really do come true' as she shares loving photo of husband Ryan Reynolds

The Deadpool star shared some of the lessons he wanted to teach his daughters, and his three other children, that came from his friendship with Michael. "I know how lucky I am to call Mike a friend. She still has no idea that I know him." 

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 15:  Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with daughters James Reynolds and Ines Reynolds attend the ceremony honoring Ryan Reynolds with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic) Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with daughters James Reynolds and Ines Reynolds attend the ceremony honoring Ryan Reynolds with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California.© Getty Images
"I need to teach her that it's OK to fall a lot. It's the absolute best way to know you're flying."

"I don't need to teach my daughter the level of compassion Mike has mastered. Or teach her to tell stories the way Mike tells stories. I need to teach her that it's OK to fall a lot. It's the absolute best way to know you're flying."

MORE: Ryan Reynolds talks big move involving Blake Lively and four children – and it hits close to home

His tribute received a sweet response from Michael himself, who commented: "With friends like @vancityreynolds it's easier to accomplish anything. Thanks buddy." Travis Kelce also reacted with: "I'm a McFly for life!!" while the Michael J. Fox Foundation's official page responded: "Thank you so much for sharing and for your beautiful words about @realmikejfox."

Ryan Reynolds, Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox attend 2014 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's at The Waldorf Astoria on November 22, 2014 in New York City. © Getty Images
He praised the actor for his resilience and effortless charm

Michael and Ryan are both fathers-of-four, with Ryan sharing daughters James, Inez, seven, Betty, four, and a one-year-old fourth baby with Blake Lively. Michael is a dad to son Sam, 34, twin daughters Aquinnah and Schuyler, 29, and youngest Esmé, 22, with Tracy Pollan.

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