Michael J. Fox: I Won’t See 80

(PatriotWise.com) — Michael J. Fox opened up about his health problems in an interview with CBS and said he will not live to be 80. The star of the ’80s blockbuster Back to the Future was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 but did not speak of it publicly until some years later. The star said he has been thinking about his own mortality, and while Parkinson’s will not cause his death, the side effects make his life extremely difficult and cause an array of severe health concerns.

“It’s getting hard. It’s getting harder. It’s getting tougher. Every day it’s tougher,” he said.

Fox described how he loses his balance and has suffered several broken bones from falls. The disease, as it progresses, will cause memory loss, difficulty sleeping, and depression. He has also suffered spinal problems and had a tumor removed from his spinal cord, affecting his ability to walk.

Born in 1961, Fox catapulted to fame when he played Alex P. Keaton in the popular ’80s sitcom Family Ties. He played the part from 1982 to 1989 and during that time, was also cast as Marty McFly in the smash hit Back to the Future. He played McFly in two subsequent sequels to the time-travel adventure comedy.

In 1985, he landed the lead role in Teen Wolf, a comedy about a high school basketball star who discovers he is a Werewolf. Other comedies followed, including The Secret of My Success, but he stepped away from the genre in 1989 when he starred in Casualties of War, the harrowing true story of the rape and kidnap of a Vietnamese woman by American troops in 1966.

Fox married his Family Ties co-star Tracy Pollan in 1988. They live in Manhattan and have four children. Fox admits he has struggled with alcoholism in the past and said he may have “done some damage” through heavy drinking. He told CBS’ Jane Pauley that his past behaviors may have contributed to his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

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