Ryan Reynolds Credits Michael J. Fox for Supporting His Father During Disease Battle

Exploring a deep bond formed through shared adversity.

by Nouman Rasool
Ryan Reynolds Credits Michael J. Fox for Supporting His Father During Disease Battle
© Noam Galai/Getty Images

The great actor, the best known as a leading role in "Deadpool," has recently written an essay for TIME 100 Most Influential People of 2024, where he praised Michael J. Fox as one of the most supportive people in the struggle of any family with a member suffering from Parkinson's.

Reynolds' father, James, succumbed to the disease in 2015 after a nearly two-decade-long fight. In a touching tribute, 47-year-old Reynolds paid tribute to Fox, 62, as a great champion not just for his devotion to the cause of research on Parkinson's but as one of the personal cornerstones to his family.

Fox, who publicly announced his own diagnosis of Parkinson's through a PEOPLE magazine cover story in 1998, has been a beacon of hope and resilience for people with Parkinson's in public and private interactions.

Fox's Enduring Advocacy

Reynolds recounted first meeting Fox seventeen years ago and watching him elevate the standards of advocacy and passion beyond what is typically expected of a celebrity.

“It’d be kind of lazy to simply characterize him as the greatest champion of Parkinson’s research on the planet,” Reynolds wrote. He highlighted how Fox’s efforts made his father, along with millions of others, "feel less alone" in their struggles.

The actor further described Fox's enduring influence, not just as a film icon whose charm and wit captivated millions, but as a sum of many magnificent parts contributing to the fight against Parkinson’s. Beyond his advocacy, Fox’s personal courage and determination were underscored by Reynolds' observations of how Fox deals with the physical challenges of his condition.

"He falls a lot because he’s unafraid to fly," Reynolds noted, encapsulating Fox's fearless approach to life and its hurdles. The personal connection extends to Reynolds' family life, revealing that his 9-year-old daughter James, named after his late father, cherishes "Back to the Future"—Fox's legendary film—after watching it last year.

Reynolds shared a touching detail that his daughter is still unaware of his personal acquaintance with Fox, adding a layer of intimate admiration to his public acknowledgment. Reynolds has been an active participant in the battle against Parkinson’s, serving on the board of the Michael J.

Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research since 2009. This foundation, established by Fox in 2000, aims to eradicate the disease through advanced research and advocacy. In a recent interview for PEOPLE magazine's 50th-anniversary issue, Fox shared his relentless pursuit of a cure, underscoring his commitment to putting his foundation in the best position to achieve this goal.

He also praised Reynolds for his intellect and talent, hinting at the impactful role Reynolds could play in broader philanthropic efforts.

Ryan Reynolds Michael J. Fox