A star-studded nationally broadcast telethon to fight cerebral palsy raised more than $22.5 million in pledges, telethon officials announced Sunday night in Los Angeles.

The 21-hour telethon was broadcast on 80 stations across the nation Saturday and Sunday raised a total of $22,563,721 in pledges for United Cerebral Palsy Association Inc., chairman Leonard H. Goldenson said.The money raised from viewer pledges and sponsor contributions will pay for research to eradicate cerebral palsy and support programs that improve the lives of the 700,000 Americans afflicted with the disabling disease.

Cerebral palsy is the most widespread lifetime disability in the United States, Goldenson said.

The telethon, broadcast live from ABC studios in Los Angeles and NBC studios in New York, featured appearances by many celebrities, including Julio Iglesias, Henry Winkler, Pia Zadora, Dennis James, Florence Henderson, Robert Urich and Joanna Kerns.