By Elisa Sanchez, EnStarz | Sep 10, 2012 10:45 AM EDT
The annual telethon "Stand Up to Cancer" raised $81 million during its telecast in Los Angeles Friday, according to organizers today.
The star studded telecast which allocates hundred percent of the funds for cancer research programs, featured actors such as Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Samuel L. Jackson, Tobey Maguire, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Justin Timberlake, Sofia Vergara, Robert Pattinson and SU2C co-founder Katie Couric.
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Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw performed at the event that was broadcast simulatenously on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and a dozen more TV networks.
"We are profoundly grateful to the entire entertainment community, particularly the stars who volunteered their time and talent, as well as the networks and cable channels that donated the air time, to make our show a tremendous success," said Lisa Paulsen, an SU2C co-founder and president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF).
Celebrities showed their support either because they had battled cancer themselves, knew someone with the disease or had lost someone to the disease.
Douglas had throat cancer and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, the executive producer of the show, lost her father to the disease.
Julia Roberts reminded viewers that one in two men and one in three women will get cancer and that cancer "kills a child every four hours in this country."
Every day, cancer kills 1,600 Americans - one person every minute. This year, more than 550,000 Americans and almost 8 million people worldwide will die of some form of cancer.
The show highlighted the stories of two children with cancer, Justin, a boy diagnosed with cancer at age 3, and Avalanna Routh, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer called "atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) that strikes infants and toddlers.
"I don't really think about me passing away. But if I ever do, I'm taking my Legos with me," Justin said in the show.
"My buddy Justin is a fighter. That's what you have to be as a child facing a mountain like cancer," Justin Timberlake said Friday.
Since "Stand Up To Cancer" was launched in 2008, more than $260 million has been pledged to the program.
The fundraising continues to accept donations at this time.
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