Hanks, Roberts among stars on 'Stand up to Cancer'
Musician Tim McGraw, left, embraces actress Gwyneth Paltrow at "Stand Up to Cancer" at the Shrine Auditorium on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 in Los Angeles. The initiative aimed to raise funds to accelerate innovative cancer research by bringing new therapies to patients quickly. McGraw and Paltrow starred as a married couple in the film "Country Strong." Paltrow's father Bruce died from cancer in 2002. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cancer is big, but so are the celebrities determined to help conquer it.
Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Vergara and Robert Pattinson were among dozens of stars who appeared Friday on the third Stand Up to Cancer telethon.
"Let's build a world where cancer is no more," a somber Hanks said on the hour-long program that was carried commercial-free by the major broadcast networks and a number of cable channels.
Some of the stars who participated had seen cancer sicken or claim a family member. Others had fought the disease themselves.
"It picked a fight with the wrong guy," said Douglas, who had throat cancer. "Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet. I stand tonight because I want to be part of this effort to find an end to cancer. This is possible."
The telethon included short films about people fighting the disease, including a 3-year-old boy, Justin, who distracts himself from treatment with a favorite toy.
Musician Tim McGraw attends the "Stand Up to Cancer" event at the Shrine Auditorium on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 in Los Angeles. The initiative aimed to raise funds to accelerate innovative cancer research by bringing new therapies to patients quickly. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
"I don't really think about me passing away. But if I ever do, I'm taking my Legos with me," he said in the video, with a feisty smile.
Onstage, Justin Timberlake asked the studio audience to stand up for the child, who attended the event.
"My buddy Justin is a fighter. That's what you have to be as a child facing a mountain like cancer," Timberlake said.
The program honored the memory of "Spider-Man" movie producer Laura Ziskin, who helped found Stand Up to Cancer. She died last year at age 61 after battling breast cancer for seven years.
"Like every great hero, she had a vision and she set us into motion," Emma Stone said in a videotaped tribute to Ziskin. "And now it's up to us to continue moving forward to achieve her dream."
The amount of money pledged during the telethon was not immediately available. Donations also can be made online at standup2cancer.org, the group said.