Actor Michael J. Fox Announces Hit Retirement
Edmonton-born Hollywood actor Michael J. Fox is retiring from acting to focus on his health. The beloved Spin City actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at only 29, revealed his retirement plans in his new memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.
Fox writes about now entering his second retirement, and about how, barring any significant changes, he’s willing to accept his second stepping down to be the end of his acting career. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, which causes changes to the nervous system in a way that affects walking, talking, and general coordination and balance, Fox has been valiantly fighting the condition ever since.
He has since his diagnoses thirty years ago not only starred in some of the best and most acclaimed shows on television – Spin City, Rescue Me, and The Good Wife – but has also established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
A Hard But Rewarding Journey
The journey has however been a mixed bag, writes Fox in his new memoire. A self-professed eternal optimist, Fox says the last few years has run circles around that positive outlook. Not only did his father-in-law, Stephen Pollan, die during this time, but the actor also developed a debilitating tumour on his spine.
Though he was able to successfully have the tumour removed, said Fox, he had to learn to walk all over again following surgery. His time spent being pushed about in a wheelchair proved a real trial-by-fire because for the first time in his life he realised what it was like to be regarded “luggage” and having no real voice.
When he eventually did manage to walk on his own again, Fox said he on one occasion ended up slipping on the floor of his kitchen – a fall that would lead him to break his arm and render him incapable of reaching his phone in order to call for help. This particular incident, said Fox, emerged the eventual turning point for him in terms of his own outlook on life.
Gratitude Saved Him
Fox’s new book touches on many personal aspects of the actor’s life, including his love for his wife, Tracy Pollan, and the couple’s four children – Esme, Aquinnah Kathleen, Sam, and Schuyler.
He also writes about gratitude and about how this is the one thing that makes optimism sustainable – a truth he says he learnt from his late father-in-law. Gratitude, writes Fox, would eventually help him find his way back to being the beacon of optimism he once was.