'Greatest champion': Ryan Reynolds says Michael J Fox made his dad 'feel less alone' in Parkinson's fight

'Greatest champion': Ryan Reynolds says Michael J Fox made his dad 'feel less alone' in Parkinson's fight
Ryan Reynolds praises Michael J Fox (Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Ryan Reynolds has nothing but praise for his good friend Michael J Fox, whom he sees “as the greatest champion of Parkinson’s research.”

Reynolds, 47, recently praised the 62-year-old actor for making his father, James Reynolds, feel “less alone” during his 20-year battle with Parkinson’s.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02:  Ryan Reynolds attends the premiere of
Ryan Reynolds wrote a piece about Michael J Fox for TIME (Getty Images)

Ryan Reynolds writes about Michael J Fox for TIME

Reynolds recently penned an essay for TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2024, where he credited the ‘Teen Wolf’ star for making his father “feel less alone” in his struggle with Parkinson’s before he died in 2015, aged 74.

Writing about Fox's influence, Reynolds shared, “I met Mike 17 years ago,” and added, “I’ve watched him raise the bar for purpose and passion," per People.

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

The ‘Deadpool’ star gushed, “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," and added, “He’s the sum of these beautiful parts. And so many more.”

Michael J. Fox speaks at the Q+A for  STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie at the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals at The Paramount Theater on March 14, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
Michael J Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991 (Getty Images)

Reynolds wrote while Fox “falls a lot,” it is “not just because he has Parkinson’s.” He explained, “He falls a lot because he’s unafraid to fly.”

The ‘Family Ties’ star was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991. He shared about his diagnosis with People in 1998 for a cover story.

In his essay, Reynolds also revealed his daughter James’ “favorite film” is Fox’s ‘Back to the Future’ after the father-and-daughter duo watched it together.

Reynolds is also a board member of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s after the ‘Doc Hollywood’ star founded the organization in 2000; Reynolds joined the board in 2009.

Michael J Fox shared he was nervous about sharing his diagnosis

Though Fox has been a stalwart in Parkinson’s research and a vocal activist for years, initially he was a little apprehensive about telling his story in 1998.

During a recent interview, Fox admitted that he was "really nervous" about sharing his diagnosis.

Fox shared, "I didn’t want to put it out there, but, given the nature of Parkinson’s, it was going to become evident sooner or later.”

Praising the journalist who conducted the interview, he shared, "Todd Gold [the reporter] was really good. He said, 'How can I tell this story, get the most out of it for you, get the most out of it for Parkinson's—which I hadn't thought about yet, what impact it would have on the community?'"

"It was an amazing time because the response was great," Fox continued, before adding, "The response was loving and supportive, and I really couldn't have been... It was a payoff for all the stuff I'd done through the years.”

"I'm proud that I had the courage to talk about this, and to be out there with it," he continued, before adding, "And people took it seriously and treated it with a sense of gravitas and importance. Because it’s really — it, not me — changed the world a little bit.”

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