Actor Michael J. Fox, a paragon of optimism despite his long-standing battle with Parkinson’s Disease, revealed in his latest memoir, “No Time Like the Future,” that he is no longer pursuing acting due to the disease’s debilitating nature.
According to The New York Times, Fox wrote in his memoir that the advancing disease sometimes renders him unable to speak or think properly in given environments.
“Not being able to speak reliably is a game-breaker for an actor,” he wrote. “Absent a chemical intervention, Parkinson’s will render me frozen, immobile, stone-faced, and mute — entirely at the mercy of my environment. For someone for whom motion equals emotion, vibrance and relevance, it’s a lesson in humility.”
Given the nature of that admission, fans of Fox were left wondering if perhaps the “Back to the Future” actor was quitting acting for good instead of just taking a break. In a statement to Fox News, the actor’s spokesperson said he “is not actively looking for work.”
“If something great comes along and it works for him, he would consider it,” the spokesperson added.
Michael J. Fox also recently revealed to People magazine that the disease can sometimes harm his short-term memory.
“My short-term memory is shot,” he said. “I always had a real proficiency for lines and memorization. And I had some extreme situations where the last couple of jobs I did were actually really word-heavy parts. I struggled during both of them,” he said.
“So the last couple of years have been trickier than most,” he added.
Ever since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, Fox has become the face of optimistic thinking. Despite his struggles with his disease, he has routinely described himself as a blessed man with a fulfilling life. He even titled his memoir, “Lucky Man.”
Speaking with Dennis Leary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, Fox got candid about his battle with Parkinson’s, admitting that his famed optimism has been in short supply some days to the point of just wanting to call it quits.
“I feel sometimes I don’t want to be selling people the optimism thing because people have tough lives. Depression is real, and things happen to them that I can’t even comprehend. They make my stuff seem like Band-Aids and skinned knees,” Fox told Leary. “So I don’t want to be saying, ‘Cheer up!’ Some stuff sucks.”
“I’m known as a guy who makes lemonade out of lemons, but I was out of the lemonade business: ‘I can’t do this anymore, I can’t,’” Fox added. Though he felt like he was at the end of his rope, Fox said that what centered him was remembering to take each moment at a time. “But then I realized that I have to take every step one at a time now, and that slows life down. You have more time that way. Every step is a new adventure. I could fall down, not fall down, I could go off this way, go backwards — who knows?”
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