Michael J. Fox became a household name during the ’80s with his Back to the Future trilogy. He played the role of Marty McFly, a time-traveling teenager in the Robert Zemeckis-directed show. The actor rose to fame with his role as Alex Keaton in the NBC sitcom Family Ties in the 1980s. He became the voice behind one of the most loved movies of the 90s Stuart Little. His career could not stretch longer because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his late twenties.

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Michael J. Fox

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After turning down big roles in sitcoms, Michael J. Fox made a special appearance on Scrubs. He even went on to be a part of a few sitcoms like Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Wife – a spin-off of The Good Fight, and The Good Wife which earned him his fifth Primetime Emmy.

Michael J. Fox Fights For His Life

The actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease during the shoot of Doc Hollywood in 1991. Initially, he experienced symptoms like twitching in his fingers and sore shoulders. He used to stay quiet in public and even abstained from going public during his diagnosis. According to his doctor, the actor contracted the virus from some unknown source. He could not continue with Spin City and later declared his retirement from acting due to his health conditions. The Two And A Half Men actor Charlie Sheen replaced him.

The four times Golden Globe winner opened up on his health condition with host Jane Pauley, during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. Michael J. Fox confessed that due to failing health, he might not be able to survive up to 80 years.

“[Parkinson’s is] banging on the door. I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day, it’s tougher. But, that’s the way it is. I mean, you know, who do I see about that? I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine. And it was benign, but it messed up my walking.”

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Michael J. Fox

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The actor added-

“And then, [I] started to break stuff. Broke this arm, and I broke this arm, I broke this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand. [That’s] a big killer with Parkinson’s. It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that get you, you don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it, I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.”

Michael J. Fox came forward with his illness in 1998. He even went on to spread awareness about Parkinson’s. He raised a foundation and generated millions of dollars to support the research programs to find a cure for Parkinson’s. He is the face behind the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research which was founded by him in 2000. His active participation in the foundation helped him raise a whopping $1.5 billion over the last twenty years.

Michael J. Fox’s Documentary Talks About His Struggles With Parkinson’s

The 61-year-old actor Michael J. Fox has been battling with Parkinson’s for over three decades. Despite his health-related struggles, he has been a living example of optimism and hope. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the actor went on to become one of the biggest vocal advocates for spreading awareness and funding research for the particular illness.

During the screening of his documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, the actor spoke candidly about his positive approach toward his life and his day-to-day struggles with his illness with the media outlet People. 

On being asked about how did he push people towards understanding and caring for Parkinson,

“Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.”

Michael J. Fox

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According to actor Michael J. Fox, he is grateful to his family and fans. While sharing about his life with his thirty-year-long illness and what keeps the actor stay positive, he responded to the media outlet Entertainment Tonight-

“The alternative isn’t good, so, no, I just love life and it’s a matter of acceptance. The more you accept, the more you are grateful for it, because you see the contrast between what’s good and what’s not and what you have in your life. My family, my career and the people I meet every day.”

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, has shown the actor’s professional journey as well as his struggles with Parkinson’s. The documentary was released on January 20 and is available on Apple TV+


Source: People

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