Ryder has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) since 2014, and Renee has been among the A-list clients who have stood by her side in support.

The progressive neuro-degenerative disease robbed the wheelchair-bound top publicist of the ability to speak in 2015, so on Friday (24Feb17), the Bridget Jones's Diary star was on hand to pick up the President's Award for her pal and deliver the acceptance speech Ryder had written.

The accolade, recognising her career achievements, was presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California, where Renee, speaking as Ryder, told the crowd: "This award means the world to me. Believe me, the irony is not lost that I am a publicist who made a career out of communicating and I am now receiving the biggest award of my career at a time in my life where I've lost the ability to speak. I say 'irony' as to not use another four-letter word."

The speech continued, "This situation is something I never saw coming, but in a way it's fitting to sit here (in the audience) now because I never sought out the spotlight and I've never been comfortable on stage. I love being behind-the-scenes, and it's only been these past couple of years since being diagnosed with ALS that I've had a choice to put my reservations aside and do what's needed to raise money for this disease."

Ryder is a co-founder of BWR Public Relations, boasting top stars like Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael J. Fox, and Courteney Cox among her many clients.