The ALS Association Celebrates ALS Awareness at the Movies

February 27, 2015

While awards season officially closed this week with the opulent Academy Award ceremony, much of the world has opened its eyes when it comes to ALS, thanks to the tremendous performance of Eddie Redmayne, who took home the “Best Actor” Oscar for his portrayal of noted British physicist Stephen Hawking in the film “The Theory of Everything.”

Hawking, who has lived with ALS for more than 50 years, has had a successful scientific career and has authored several books including A Brief History of Time. During his emotional acceptance speech, Redmayne said, “This Oscar belongs to all the people around the world battling ALS…I will be its custodian.”

Eddie
Eddie Redmayne at The Association’s Greater New York Chapter’s 20th Annual Lou Gehrig Sports Awards.

For his depiction of Hawking, Redmayne has also won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for “Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role,” a Golden Globe Award for “Best Actor, Motion Picture Drama,” and the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) “Film/Leading Actor in 2015” award.  

“We couldn’t be more thrilled for Mr. Redmayne. With every award this year for his portrayal of Hawking, he has managed to bring added awareness to this disease, which means so much to people living with ALS,” said Barbara J. Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association.

Redmayne’s co-star, Felicity Jones, who played Hawking’s former wife Jane in the film, also received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actress.” This year’s “Best Actress” winner, Julianne Moore, mentioned ALS during her acceptance speech for her role in “Still Alice.” One of the movie’s directors, Richard Glatzer, has ALS.

Two of The Association’s chapters have met with Redmayne. Staff and volunteers from the Golden West Chapter attended the Los Angeles premiere of “The Theory of Everything” in October 2014. Chapter President and CEO Fred Fisher had the opportunity to meet with both Redmayne and Jones. The Golden West Chapter plans to honor the filmmakers of “The Theory of Everything” at its upcoming Gala on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Pasadena Playhouse.

In November 2014, Redmayne attended The Association’s Greater New York Chapter’s 20th Annual Lou Gehrig Sports Awards benefit at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Other attendees at that event included Pat Quinn and Anthony Senerchia, two of the three young men living with ALS who helped to propel the Ice Bucket Challenge to international prominence.

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