Alex is getting an Oscar.
Actor Michael J. Fox, who became a household name by playing starry-eyed Republican Alex P. Keaton on the 1980s coming-of-age sitcom “Family Ties,” will receive an honorary Oscar for his contributions to film and his efforts to help cure Parkinson’s disease.
The star disclosed he was battling Parkinson’s in 1991.
“Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions,” Academy President David Rubin said in a statement Tuesday.
Fox, who also starred in the “Back to the Future” film trilogy, will be honored Nov. 19 at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards in Los Angeles. The 61-year-old Canadian native will add his honorary Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Oscar Award to a trophy cabinet that already includes four Golden Globes, one Grammy and a handful of Emmy Awards.
He is also a best-selling author being highlighted in an upcoming documentary being filmed by Oscar-winner “An Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim.
In 2002, Fox launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation which, according to its website, has raised more than a billion dollars in research over the last two decades.
“We have a responsibility as patients to share our experience — what works for us, what we respond to, what we can contribute to research,” Fox said in a mission statement urging others living with Parkinson’s disease to join the fight.
While Fox’s diagnosis may have been a hurdle, it didn’t turn out to be a roadblock. He worked solidly over the decades that followed, landing roles in hit films “Doc Hollywood” and “The American President” as well as television programs including “Spin City,” “Boston Legal” and “The Good Wife.”
In 2011, Fox appeared on comedian Larry David’s envelope-pushing HBO sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where symptoms of his Parkinson’s disease got on the nerves of the program’s star.
“It’s very funny,” Fox told ABC News at the time.