Alan Alda celebrates others, not himself, with touching speech | News Coverage from USA

Alan Alda celebrates others, not himself, with touching speech

Alan Alda accepted the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement award Sunday night, marking one of his first appearances since revealing his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. 

The iconic actor, who turns 83 Monday, was introduced to the Shrine Auditorium by Tom Hanks for his career achievements in numerous films and TV series, including the hit shows “M*A*S*H*” and “The West Wing” and movies “The Aviator” and “Bridge of Spies.”

“You know, it’s really hard to describe to you what it feels like to look out and see my fellow actors, my colleagues, my heroes, to welcome me up there like this,” Alda said after receiving a prolonged standing ovation. “It’s an extraordinary feeling.”

Related: SAG Awards 2019: The winners’ list

Alda reflected on his decades-long acting career and noted how proud he is to be a “member of our brotherhood and sisterhood of actors.” He said the stars of Hollywood have a crucial responsibility of helping bridge our “sharply” divided culture through film.

“When we get a chance to act, it’s our job, at least in part, to get inside a character’s head and to search for a way to see life from that person’s point of view” he said. “It may never be more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes. And when the culture is divided so sharply, actors can help, at least a little, by doing what we do.”

Alda continued: “The nice part is it’s fun to do it. So my wish for all of us is: Let’s stay playful, let’s have fun and lets keep searching. You can’t solve everything, but it wouldn’t hurt.”

More: SAG honoree Alan Alda’s approach to life, including Parkinson’s: ‘Adapt, adjust, revise’

Alda revealed last July that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost four years ago.

Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder that affects movement. Other celebrities with Parkinson’s include actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed at age 29, and singer Neil Diamond, who shared his diagnosis last year. 

Related: 8 must-know moments from the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include a tremor or shaking of the limbs, which could be seen as Alda accepted his award. 

“I thank our great union for this. Let’s honor the union contract,” he added. “I share this with everybody in the room. Thank you so much.”

Related: SAG Awards 2019: Lady Gaga, Amy Adams among the best-dressed stars on the red carpet


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