In his newly released memoir, Michael J. Fox reveals that he is retiring from acting again because of his declining health.
“No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” Fox’s fourth memoir, was released Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 1991, the “Back to the Future” and “Family Ties” star was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. A doctor told him he would be lucky to work for another decade, the newspaper reported. In 1998, Fox went public with the diagnosis, becoming a strong advocate for Parkinson’s research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation
Fox, 59, ignored that prognosis, winning an Emmy for his five-episode stint in “Rescue Me” in 2009 and being nominated seven other times after his diagnosis. However, his latest memoir comes to grips with his declining health.
“There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a twelve-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me,” Fox writes in the book. “At least for now ... I enter a second retirement. That could change, because everything changes. But if this is the end of my acting career, so be it.”
Fox’s other memoirs are “Lucky Man,” “Always Looking Up” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.” In those books, Fox remained upbeat, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In “No Time Like the Future,” Fox calls his physical struggles with Parkinson’s as being a “negotiation in my mind between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi,” the Times reported.
Throughout the book, Fox reflects on the highs and lows of his life and career.
Fox also touches on other subjects, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He revealed he wanted another child, but his wife hesitated because of his drinking problem.
“After one night of drinking, I awoke to find Tracy standing over me as I slept on the couch, a spilled beer on the carpet next to my draping arm. She took in the scene and simply asked me, ‘Is this what you want?’” he writes.
Fox would join a 12-step program to battle his alcoholism, writing that “I learned to accept and understand my new illness. I could put down a drink, but Parkinson’s would be with me for the rest of my life.”
Fox was also candid about retiring again, noting that not being able to remember his lines and “not being able to speak reliably is a game-breaker for an actor.”
“Not only do I endure a perfect story of symptoms, but I have to film during February and March in Toronto; snow and ice, and long distances to walk between sets in the enormous warehouse studio,” he writes.
In the epilogue to his book, Fox thanks health care professionals for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“During our time in quarantine, my family and I would get up from our dinner at 7:00, timed with hospital shift changes, and emerge onto our front porch. We joined our neighbors, isolated in their own bubbles, and we all banged on pots, blew whistles and rang cowbells in support of health care workers,” Fox writes. “A band of thousands, sending a message of thanks out to the universe.”
Cox Media Group