Michael J Fox says he's quit acting due to memory struggle after 22-years with Parkinson's

5 November 2020, 11:52

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By Tom Eames

Back to the Future star Michael J Fox has opened up about his Parkinson's Disease condition, and how he has been forced to stop acting because of his short-term memory loss.

Michael J Fox has spoken openly about his 22-year battle with Parkinson's, and how it has forced him to end his acting career.

The 59-year-old Back to the Future star has said that he doesn't have the short term memorisation skills needed to learn his lines for potential roles.

Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson's, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, back in 1991.

He first went public with his condition in 1998 but still continued acting. He starred in the hit sitcom Spin City from 1996 to 2001, and in The Good Wife from 2010 to 2016.

However, he has now said that he will probably no longer act as he struggles with short term memory.

Michael J Fox in 2019
Michael J Fox in 2019. Picture: Getty

"My short-term memory is shot," he told People. "I always had a real proficiency for lines and memorisation.

"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."

Michael continued by saying he is trying to improve his speech by practicing difficult tongue twisters, but has now focused on writing.

"I’m down to this. My guitar playing is no good. My sketching is no good anymore, my dancing never was good, and acting is getting tougher to do.

"So it’s down to writing. Luckily, I really enjoy it.”

Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 2018
Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 2018. Picture: Getty

In recent years, Michael was diagnosed with a noncancerous tumour on his spine. He underwent surgery and it took four months for him to learn to walk again, before he had a fall, described as "definitely my darkest moment."

He added: “Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance.

"Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn’t mean that you can’t endeavour to change.

"It doesn’t mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on.”

Michael stated that he will now focus on spending time with his wife Tracy Pollan and their children.