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FutureStarrWhat Happened to Michael J Fox?
Michael J Fox achieved fame during the 80s as a teenage heartthrob. Since then, he has won three Emmy Awards and starred on TV series Family Ties and Spin City.
At 29 years old, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease - a degenerative disorder that causes tremors and slowness of movement. To conceal his diagnosis for seven years, he took dopamine pills to ease early symptoms of the illness.
Michael J. Fox began his acting career by staring in some of the biggest hits of the 1980s, such as Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future trilogy. Over time, he earned five Primetime Emmy awards, four Golden Globe awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards; plus he received honorary doctorates, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Despite his early success, it wasn't until 29 that he received the diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's disease. At that point, he became an advocate for research into the disorder and founded his foundation.
As a result of his early diagnosis, Fox began experiencing tremors that affected his hands and fingers. Eventually, he developed what is known as a "pill rolling" tremor, which involves rolling pills in his hands.
Still, he remains an upbeat individual and a great source of motivation for those living with Parkinson's. As an advocate for raising awareness about the condition, he has raised more than $1 billion and a half dollars for research into Parkinson's.
When not working on his film and television projects, Fox enjoys traveling with his wife Tracy Pollan and their four children. Additionally, he has become an avid reader, currently reading The Autobiography of Jack Sparrow by Edgar Allen Poe.
He is a dedicated family man, having dedicated his life to raising his children with wife Tracy. Additionally, he has become an outspoken advocate for Parkinson's disease research, raising over one and a half billion dollars since his 1991 diagnosis.
Fox has enjoyed a prestigious career in both film and TV, staring in the beloved Family Ties film. Additionally, he's guest-starred on numerous popular shows like Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm.
His latest role is on ABC drama Designated Survivor as Ethan West. Previously, he portrayed wily attorney Lewis Canning on The Good Wife and continues to delight fans with multi-episode guest arcs on several hit series.
At 29 years old, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease - one of the most devastating events of his life. Fortunately, he had family and friends by his side to support him through this difficult time.
For seven years, the actor kept his condition hidden from the public eye; however, in 1998 he made a career-altering decision which turned him into an advocate for Parkinson's research and an outspoken voice in search of a cure. It also transformed him from an introverted and stoic individual into someone upbeat and optimistic who believes that by educating people, elected officials, and scientists about this neurodegenerative condition they can make an impact on millions who suffer from it worldwide.
He has achieved such remarkable success in combatting his illness that he recently signed on to an NBC comedy series--an honor many in the industry doubted was possible for him. Even without a pilot episode yet, NBC gave Fox their confidence vote, showing that he remains passionate about acting and ready to pursue what he loves most: acting.
Fox lives seven floors above his Manhattan office with Tracy Pollan and their four children--Sam, 23, twins Schuyler and Aquinnah, 18, as well as Esme, 11 years old--in a prewar apartment overlooking Central Park. It's quite the nest for them all; with Sam heading off to college in the fall while Esme stays put with her parents.
It's an unusual arrangement, but it works out well for them. The twins can pursue school and extracurricular activities while their parents stay at home to support them with homework assistance and dinner preparation. It's a wonderful balance!
Fox experienced increasing hardship as his disease progressed, and he struggled to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Furthermore, it proved challenging for him to cope with his daughter's autism diagnosis as well as dealing with his son's struggles with depression.
Fox ultimately sobered up and began to focus on those around him. As an advocate for Parkinson's research, he founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000 which has been successful in raising funds and funding research to combat this disease.
Following his 1991 Parkinson's disease diagnosis, Fox turned to alcohol as a way to escape the negative effects of his condition. He recounted hiding bottles around the house from his wife Tracy Pollan and drinking in order to forget about his illness.
Fox was an accomplished performer despite the early onset of Parkinson's Disease. His roles included Teen Wolf and Back to the Future as well as TV shows like Family Ties.
He had an eye for masking his tremors while on set, using props to hide them from viewers. He said he'd take dopamine pills -- used for treating Parkinson's disease -- and hold his props so they didn't show on camera.
At 29 years old, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's and forced to scale back his career. Although able to continue working for several more years, ultimately opting to leave acting behind and focus on being a father.
After his diagnosis, Fox was reluctant to share the news with the public. He believed that people wouldn't understand and didn't want to burden his wife or children with such information.
Once Fox faced the truth of his illness, he began to reflect on how it had affected him and what could be done about it. With determination, he set about finding a solution for his illness.
At some point, he realized the only solution was to stop drinking and get sober. Although this proved challenging, the love and support of his wife and four children helped him get through it.
Fox's sobriety was ultimately successful, allowing him to find peace and contentment in his life. Now a father to three daughters, he leads an active lifestyle alongside his wife.
Davis Guggenheim's documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (which premiered at Sundance Film Festival) provides an inspiring glimpse into the actor's personal journey with Parkinson's disease. In it, Fox shares his struggles and how it affected him and his family; he describes how he initially turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort while masking symptoms; eventually turning away from substances altogether in sobriety.
His career took off when he starred as time-travelling teen Marty McFly in Back to the Future and went on to star in several other movies. Additionally, he was cast as Alex Keaton on TV comedy Family Ties, where he met actress Tracy Pollan - who would later become his wife.
Fox and Pollan will mark 35 years of marriage this July, a momentous occasion in their lives. In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, the couple spoke candidly about how they've managed to stay together all these years.
Fox and his wife have remained resilient despite adversity. Together, they have four children: son Sam (33); twins Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances, 27; and daughter Esme (20).
In a recent interview with ET, Fox praised his wife for providing him the strength to cope with Parkinson's disease. He described her as intelligent, protective and everything else a man could want in a spouse.
Fox remains upbeat despite his health challenges, and is still very active. Additionally, he's an ardent supporter of Parkinson's research having raised an incredible $1.5 billion for Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), the organization he founded in 2000 with his brother Michael.
According to MJFF's website, the 61-year-old is an inspiring advocate who believes there is a cure and everyone should have access to treatment. He's an inspiring example of how an ordinary person can make a difference by using their voice and influence for positive change in people's lives.
His devotion to Parkinson's research was recognized by the United States Congress in 2002, awarding him with an award. Additionally, he's received the Officer of the Order of Canada and an honorary degree from the University of Alberta for his efforts.
Fox has earned a variety of accolades for his acting, including five Primetime Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes. In addition to starring in several films, he voiced Stuart Little and Martin McFly in Back to the Future: The Animated Series and Lego Dimensions. Furthermore, he appeared on television shows such as Scrubs and Rescue Me.