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article imageMichael J. Fox appointed Officer of the Order of Canada

By Igor I. Solar     Jul 1, 2010 in Entertainment
Ottawa - The Edmonton-born actor Michael J. Fox, also known as “Young Republican Alex P. Keaton” for his role in the TV series Family Ties, was appointed on June 30 as an Officer of the Order of Canada.
The Canadian-American actor Michael Andrew Fox, 49, currently living in the US, but still affectionately known as “the boy from Burnaby”, is among 18 outstanding Canadians receiving the honour this year. The mention for Fox reads: “Officer of the Order of Canada: For his contributions as an advocate for those with Parkinson’s disease, and as an actor in film and on television.”
Fox was born in 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta. When he was 10 years old, his parents William and Phyllis Fox, moved to Burnaby, BC. He attended Burnaby Central Secondary School where he started developing his acting skills in school plays. At fifteen, he auditioned for the role of a ten-year-old in a series called Leo and Me. Soon he received attention as a bright new star in Canadian television and movies.
At eighteen, he moved to Los Angeles and was offered a few roles in television shows. Those were hard times for young Michael. It has been reported that for a while, he survived on a diet of macaroni and cheese. His big break came when actor Matthew Broderick, (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986) could not accept the offer to play Alex Keaton on the TV series Family Ties (1982-1989). Michael took the role for which he won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. His character, business-wise, Young-Republican Alex P. Keaton was a huge success which led to starring in the movies Teen Wolf (1985), High School U.S.A. (1983), Poison Ivy (1985), both made for TV, and later on in The Secret of My Succe$$ (1987) and the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1989-1990).
In 1991, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He disclosed his condition to the public in 1998 and semi-retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his disease got worse. He became an advocate for research toward finding a cure for Parkinson’s and created the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Through this organization he has raised about 187 million dollars to fund research leading to better treatment for the disease.
Recent activities and honours include his participation in the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, receiving an honorary doctorate in medicine from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, for his contributions to research in Parkinson's disease, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia.
"No matter what path you take in life, remember that you have opportunity every day, every moment to invent the future you want." (Michael J. Fox).
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