Michael J. Fox Makes a Big Announcement Years After Retirement

Michael J. Fox Makes a Big Announcement Years After Retirement

Actor Michael J. Fox announced his retirement from acting in 2020 when it became clear to him that his fight with Parkinson’s disease was just too much to overcome and remain in front of the cameras. But now he says he is still open to the right role.

Fox sat down with “Entertainment Tonight’s” Rachel Smith in Nashville last week ahead of an April 2 event for his Michael J. Fox Foundation and strolled down memory lane when “ET” replayed an interview he gave in 1984 when he was starring on the TV sitcom “Family Ties.”

In the clip, a 22-year-old Fox said that he wanted to “do it all” in film — act, write, direct, edit and produce. And as his star was just rising, he did, indeed, achieve many of those goals over his decades in Hollywood.

But even as his mounting achievements made him famous, a cruel fate became evident when in 1998, at the age of only 37, Fox announced he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

As CNN noted at the time, Fox had been aware of the disease since 1992 and had been taking treatments in the hope of pushing its effects off as long as possible. There was not then, nor is there now, any cure, but there are treatments for the brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

The full “Entertainment Tonight” video is below:

The first symptoms of Parkinson’s are often a tremor in a hand or foot, according to the Mayo Clinic, and the disease progresses over time until a sufferer has trouble walking and talking.

After being shown the clip of himself as a brash young man, Fox told “ET’s” Smith that, “My biggest goal, I think, was to raise a family. We have four amazing kids and that’s been the big thing.”

Fox met his wife, Tracy Pollen, on the set of “Family Ties” in 1985 and has been married to her ever since. The couple has four children.

But in 2020, when he retired from acting, he said that he decided to hang it up because of his unreliable speaking ability and his occasional memory loss that prevented him for memorizing lines.

In a 2021 interview with AARP Magazine, the “Back to the Future” star explained why he was giving up acting, and said, “I reached the point where I couldn’t rely on my ability to speak on any given day, which meant I couldn’t act comfortably at all anymore.”

However, in the “ET” interview, Fox made a big announcement.

He proved that the acting bug has a more powerful bite than Parkinson’s when he admitted to Smith that he would return to acting for the right role.

“I would do acting if something came up that I could put my realities into it, my challenges, if I could figure it out,” he said.

Fox has taken several roles since his disease has become advanced enough to be patently obvious to the viewer. He appeared in several episode of the hit show “Scrubs” in 2004. He was featured in five episodes of “Rescue Me” in 2009, and in 2010 he took on a recurring role as a lawyer in the legal drama “The Good Wife.”

Ultimately, though, Fox said that watching the scene in director Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood” where Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton character was shown having a hard time remembering his lines made Fox reflect on his own abilities. It was then he decided that he would hang up his acting career.

“I thought of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,'” Fox told Empire Magazine in 2023. “There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines anymore. He goes back to his dressing room and he’s screaming at himself in the mirror. Just freaking insane. I had this moment where I was looking in the mirror and thought, ‘I cannot remember it anymore.'”

But despite all the pressures in his life dealing with this debilitating disease, Fox is still the perennial optimist. He is now sure he could step before the cameras if the right role and right situation come to hand.

Fox is a star on the small screen and large screen both. But he is also an amazing example of gumption and positive thinking for all of us.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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