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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Read Ryan Reynolds' Touching Michael J. Fox Tribute as Back to the Future Star Lands Career Honor

The Deadpool star has served on the board of The Michael J. Fox Foundation since 2009.

By Josh Weiss
A split featuring Ryan Reynolds and Michael J. Fox.

In the current issue of TIME, the celebrated magazine names the "100 Most Influential People of 2024," among whom is Back to the Future star, Michael J. Fox. Since the late 1990s, the 62-year-old actor has famously (and fearlessly) battled Parkinson's disease in the public spotlight, going so far as to establish a non-profit organization — The Michael J. Fox Foundation — dedicated to eradicating the degenerative illness. Despite his affliction, Fox continues to appear in film, television, and at fan conventions and red carpet events.

Fellow Canadian movie star Ryan Reynolds joined the foundation's board in 2009 as a way to support his father, James C. Reynolds, who sadly passed away from Parkinson's-related complications almost four years ago. “My father really hasn’t ever said he has Parkinson’s disease,” Reynolds said during an interview with NBC's Today. “He comes from a pretty prideful generation and he doesn’t really talk about it too much. He’s maybe said it once or twice out loud. It kind of galvanized everybody else, to sort of seek resources. And for us, it's in a strange way, it's really kind of brought us together.”

As such, it only made sense that TIME asked the Deadpool star to write a touching blurb dedicated to Fox's impact on both popular culture and neurodegenerative research. Read the full tribute below.

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Ryan Reynolds Honors Michael J. Fox in Latest Issue of TIME Magazine

"I know Michael J. Fox. Like, I know him pretty damn well. 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," Reynolds writes.

"I met Mike 17 years ago. I’ve watched him raise the bar for purpose and passion. 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. 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," Reynolds continues.

"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," Reynolds notes. "I know how lucky I am to call Mike a friend. She still has no idea that I know him. 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."

The complete Back to the Future trilogy is now available to own from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Want to see Ryan Reynolds in action? Head on over to Peacock for movies like R.I.P.D. and The Croods: A New Age!