After 30 years of living with the condition, Michael J. Fox is sharing some candid thoughts about his health problems. Initially finding his success with the NBC sitcom Family Ties, Fox would become a household name in the ’80s with his turn as time-traveling teenager Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis’ beloved sci-fi adventure Back to the Future trilogy. Fox would find further success in the late ’90s with the Stuart Little movies, in which he voiced the titular mouse, and ABC sitcom Spin City, on which he earned four Golden Globes, though would gradually wind down his work from there.
CBS Sunday Morning recently shared a preview of their upcoming interview with former Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox. The four-time Golden Globe winner candidly discusses his health problems with host Jane Pauley, stating that his Parkinson’s is “banging on the door” and his concerns that he may not have much longer to live. See what Fox shared in the quote and video below:
[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. 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 ya … 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.
How Fox’s Parkinson’s Diagnosis Has Affected His Career
Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis was first revealed during his work on the well-received 1991 rom-com Doc Hollywood, where he displayed such early symptoms as a twitching finger and sore shoulder, though would mostly keep it quiet from the public, going on with his work. The actor privately announced to the cast and crew of Spin City during season 3 production of his diagnosis and would announce his retirement the following year, making a variety of guest appearances while Charlie Sheen took over as the show’s lead.
Fox ultimately went public with his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 1998 and quickly became one of Hollywood’s biggest advocates for it, forming his own foundation and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for research to discover a cure for the disease. Despite winding down his leading roles, he did follow his plan to keep working, making guest appearances in Scrubs, created by Spin City‘s Bill Lawrence, as well as Rescue Me, which earned him his fifth Primetime Emmy, The Good Wife, its spinoff The Good Fight and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
His biggest work in the years following his diagnosis was that of the NBC sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show, loosely inspired by his life as he played a news anchor who attempts to make a career comeback four years after retiring due to a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Despite positive reviews, the show’s significant ratings drops led to its early cancellation. Michael J. Fox ultimately retired from acting in 2020 due to the increasing unreliability of his speech and, though previously remaining open to the possibility of returning, seems less likely to do so in his candid new discussion.
Source: CBS Sunday Morning