Michael J. Fox receives standing ovation for surprise appearance at 2024 BAFTAs

Michael J. Fox wowed the crowd when he came out to announce the night’s biggest award at the 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards on Feb. 19.

The “Back to the Future” star and five-time Emmy Award winner received a standing ovation for his surprise appearance. He was helped across the stage in a wheelchair and stood to present the award for best film.

“Five films were nominated in this category tonight,” Fox said when he got to the podium at London’s Royal Festival Hall. “And all five of them have something in common: They are the best of what we do. No matter who you are or where you are from, these films can bring us together.

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“There’s a reason why they say movies are magic, because movies can change your day. They can change your outlook, and sometimes even change your life,” he continued before announcing that “Oppenheimer” had won the award.

Fox, 62, attended the BAFTAs with wife Tracy Pollan. The star, who retired from acting in 2020, remains a beloved figure in pop culture, as he navigates his Parkinson’s disease. That same year, he received an honorary Oscar — the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — for his advocacy work with Parkinson’s disease.

Woody Harrelson, who co-starred with Fox in “Doc Hollywood” in 1991, the same year he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, presented him with the award. Harrelson commended Fox on raising more than $1 billion to research the disease.

2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards - Arrivals

“This guy was a master class in comedy,” he said. “He turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission. Michael J. Fox never asked for the role of Parkinson’s advocate, but it is his best performance.”

Fox has also remained humble in the face of his health struggles, while also understanding how his condition may color how people look at him.

“I’ve won more awards and had more nominations since I announced my diagnosis,” he told Variety in May 2023. “It may be that people feel bad for me, but I prefer to look at it as an acknowledgment for continuing to have a legitimate career.”