Michael J. Fox to Speak at Southeast Oct. 26

by News Bureau on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 12, 2011 –Michael J. Fox will speak as part of Southeast Missouri State University’s 2011-2012 University Speaker Series at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Show Me Center.

The title of his presentation is “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.”

Tickets are required for entry. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, or to avoid service charges, tickets can be purchased at the Show Me Center Box Office. Current Southeast faculty, staff and students can use a valid Redhawk ID to pick up free tickets in University Center Room 202, the Center for Student Involvement or the Show Me Center Box Office.

Fox charmed audiences around the world in such roles as Alex Keaton in “Family Ties,” for which he earned three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, and star and executive producer of ABC’s acclaimed “Spin City,” for which he was honored with three Golden Globe Awards, one Emmy Award, three Emmy nominations, a GQ Man-of-the-Year Award, a People’s Choice Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Fox made time during his busy television work to appear in over a dozen feature films. His performances in the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Doc Hollywood,” “Teen Wolf,” “Mars Attacks!” and “The American President” showcased his ability to shift between comedy and drama and made him an international movie star.

Also an accomplished writer, Fox is the bestselling author of “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.” “Always Looking Up” was a New York Times bestseller and earned Fox a Grammy award. His 2002 memoir, “Lucky Man,” was a New York Times bestseller and earned a Grammy Award nomination for its audio recording.

Like most Canadian kids, Fox said he loved hockey and dreamed of a career in the National Hockey League. As a teenager, however, his artistic talents prevailed, and Fox immersed himself in art and creative writing. He also played guitar in a succession of rock-and-roll garage bands before ultimately realizing his affinity for acting. Fox debuted as a professional performer at 15, co-starring in the sitcom “Leo and Me” on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with future Tony Award-winner Brent Carver.

Fox married his “Family Ties” co-star, Tracy Pollan, in 1988, and together they have four children. Inspired to find projects his children would enjoy, Fox offered his vocal talents to a variety of hit children’s films. He provided the voice of Chance in Disney’s “Homeward Bound” movies, Stuart Little in Sony’s “Stuart Little” and the lead in “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” his first animated feature for The Walt Disney Company.

Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991. Upon disclosing his condition in 1998, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research and awareness.

In 2000, Fox launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He said he wholeheartedly believes if there is a concentrated effort from the Parkinson’s community, elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and the general public, researchers can pinpoint the cause of Parkinson’s and find a cure within our lifetime.