November 7, 2008

Fox, Friends See Obama As Backer of Parkinson’s Research

By Donna Freydkin

NEW YORK -- The day after Barack Obama won the presidential election, the mood was giddy at the annual fundraiser benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Stars including Fox and wife Tracy Pollan, Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, and newlyweds Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds converged on the Sheraton on Wednesday night to raise cash for Fox's non-profit, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease, a degenerative nerve disorder.

One big issue for Fox, who has Parkinson's, is stem cell research; Obama supports easing federal restrictions on it.

"I'm happy. I'm really happy," Fox says. "In all fairness, Sen. McCain has been supportive of our foundation and supportive of research. But I think this administration will really embrace it."

Pollan has the same hope.

"This is a huge election for us. Particularly anyone who is suffering from diseases that are helped by that research, it's a very hopeful and exciting time," Pollan says.

Obama supporter Johansson walked the carpet solo, sporting massive bling on her wedding-ring finger, followed shortly after by her husband, who had run the New York City Marathon on Sunday to raise money for Fox.

"I didn't think I'd be out there. I thought, 'What are these kamikaze morons doing?'" Reynolds says. "I was OK. I trained well. How terrible would it be to raise $100,000 for Team Fox and then not finish? If I had to moonwalk there, I had to do it."

Next up for Spin City vet Fox? A return to TV with a four-episode arc on FX's firefighter drama Rescue Me. (c) Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. <>