Michael J Fox and Tracy Pollan cover People: It’s us against the world


I was going to write about how I couldn’t decide who was my top favorite couple – Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan or Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. To decide, I looked up who married whom first only to find they both wed in 1988. But then I found out that prior to Michael, Tracy had dated – wait for it – Kevin!

Michael and Tracy have always seemed to have a really solid relationship. They don’t talk about it much, they just have a united front. Like in their cover photo, there’s nothing forced there. And yet, we know they’ve faced struggles, one of which being Michael’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. Now that they are celebrating thirty years of marriage, they’re talking about what works for them. I found their explanation beautiful in its simplicity. According to Tracy, they work because it them “against the world.”

Thirty years after they exchanged vows in a small wedding ceremony in Vermont, Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan are opening up about their remarkable romance.

Though they come from different worlds — Fox, 57, is an Episcopalian-raised Army brat and high school dropout from Canada who earned his GED in his 30s, while Pollan, 58, comes from a prominent Jewish New York family and studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute — both agree that there were key similarities in their upbringings.

“Big families, middle children,” Fox says. “Sense of humor. Both our families had that.”

“It was us against the world,” says Pollan of her own upbringing. “That’s exactly what we’ve created.”

Asked about the key to a long marriage, Pollan says, “Just give each other the benefit of the doubt. He assumes I’m doing the best I can.”

Adds Fox, “Find the best things about you and the best things about life and celebrate them.”

As for what he’s added to her life, Pollan answers, “So much, obviously. His optimistic worldview about everything is just so powerful. Michael doesn’t worry about the future. I’m completely the opposite.”

“It leaves a lot of work for other people sometimes,” Fox admits, “because I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, don’t worry about it. It’ll be great!’ I can do that because I know she’s got it handled.”

[From People]

I think giving your partner the benefit of the doubt is some of the best relationship advice I’ve heard. And I relate to their dynamic. I, too, am the worrier, which can mean I create stress when it doesn’t need to be there. At the same time, The Mister can pick and choose what to focus on because he knows I have my eyes on all of it. It’s also helpful that we acknowledge those things.

Although simple, Tracy’s comment about it being “us against the world” doesn’t mean it’s always been easy. The article discussed how Michael drank to help himself deal with his diagnosis. But it didn’t help him cope, it led to him checking out from the family and letting Tracy down. One of the last times she found him passed out, Tracy asked him directly, “Is this what you want?” Michael said she didn’t seem that angry, but rather “bored.” Fortunately, it got through to Michael and he redirected his energy from drinking to establishing the Michael J. Fox Foundation for the treatment of Parkinson’s with Tracy by his side.

The Michael J Fox Foundation’s blog recently covered Alan Alda’s announcement that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three and a half years ago. He decided to come forward after he saw his thumb twitching during a TV interview and wanted to set the tone for his story before the press did. Like Michael, Alan sees Parkinson as something to treat and cure, not a jail sentence. And, like Michael, Alan has his wife of 61 years, Arlene, to get him through it.




Photo credit: People and WENN Photos

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23 Responses to “Michael J Fox and Tracy Pollan cover People: It’s us against the world”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    I’ve had a crush on him since I saw Back to the Future and always will. And she has all my admiration. A great couple.

    Michael has done enormous good for the fight against Parkinson’s. I hope he lives to see the fight won.

    • smcollins says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I loved them together on Family Ties and was kinda giddy (and jealous 😉) that they were together for real. The work & advocacy they’ve done for PD is amazing. That will be his true legacy.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      he is one of the MOST BRILLIANT comedic actors ever, IMO.

      loved him since Family Ties. he’s awesome in everything he’s in.

  2. Jenns says:

    His character was one of my favorite parts of The Good Wife.

  3. detritus says:

    His son looks so much like him.
    And I’ve always had a soft spot for him too, he comes across so genuine and kind.

    • Esmom says:

      Doesn’t he? So cute. Their family is lovely although it’s kind of a bummer to see Tracey messing with her face.

      He’s been an amazing advocate for PD and it’s really nice to see him doing well. My FIL lived for decades with it and it only got truly unmanageable at the very end. Here’s hoping the fight to find a cure marches on.

  4. TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

    I love their dynamic. My other half is the worrier and the details guy-I’m the big picture planner. For the reverse, I’ve dragged him out of obsessing about insignificant details to enjoy the over-arching beauty of life. He’s a bit more likely to have fun-once the details are lined up-than he was ten years ago.
    I admire his bravery as well. He’s faced Parkinson with courage and honesty. ❤️

  5. Beth says:

    I love him! He’s still one of my Hollywood crushes, decades after my favorite movie Back to the Future. Dealing with illnesses is tough and depressing, so I’m glad he’s staying strong

  6. helonearth says:

    Tracy has excellent taste in men, which is particularly impressive in the entertainment industry.

    They make a great couple.

  7. Lexilla says:

    They said this in another interview and I’ve remembered it ever since, the part about giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had moments when I was about to complain to my husband that he did something wrong and then I’ve stopped, reflected, and given him the benefit of the doubt. We try our best. We don’t intend to mess up. Sometimes it just happens that way. Benefit of the doubt.

  8. Harryg says:

    He’s so great!

  9. Tiffany says:

    Okay, so Family Ties first went on the air 30 YEARS AGO !!! Where is my age going.

    I remember a the docu-series Fox did years ago before his return to prime time and they talked about his drinking. Tracy was very matter of fact about it them. I don’t know if I could have made it with my husband just checking out for a time, but she handled it and more power to her.

    • SugarMalone says:

      I was having this conversation with my friend the other day and (get ready to feel even older), Family Ties premiered in 1982 – 36 YEARS AGO! I was 6-years-old and Michael J. Fox was my first crush…although I remember being very excited to hear that Alex and Ellen were a couple in real life too.
      So glad they’re still together!

  10. BrutalEthyl says:

    I’ve been a fan of both ever since Family Ties. Sending us Michael J Fox almost makes up for Canada sending us the little Dirt Lip. Almost.

  11. Liz says:

    He is one of the nicest people I have ever met.

    When my daughter was in elementary school, I would walk her to school every morning. Our route to school went through Central Park, near their apartment. My daughter adores dogs and would regularly ask people if she could pet their dogs. One morning, when she was about 8 or 9, she marched up to Michael J Fox and said “Excuse me, may I please pet your dog?” She had absolutely no idea who he was. The dog, Gus, was huge – some kind of a mastiff mix. MJF looked at me and asked me if it was OK. I told him that as long as it was OK with the dog, I was fine with it. He realized that I knew exactly who he was, but had no intention of telling my daughter anything. He was just another dog owner in the Park.

    He introduced himself to my daughter as “Mike,” and asked her what grade she was in. He told her that his daughter was in the same grade and asked what books she was reading. They had a lovely conversation for about 5 minutes while my daughter rubbed the dog’s ears and got slobbered on. Finally, I had to tell them that she was going to be late to school, if we didn’t start walking. He laughed and told Gus to let the little girl leave.

    We ran into Mike and Gus at least once a week for the rest of the school year. My daughter always got a big “HI!! Gus has been looking for you” and a discussion of the latest book or sympathy over a math test. She was just a little kid who liked his dog. He could have been rude or dismissive, instead he was just a sweetheart.

    • smcollins says:

      That’s awesome! What great memories to have!

    • NYC_girl says:

      What a great story! It reminds me of a woman I worked with 89-90. Her son was young and became friendly with Dustin Hoffman’s son – not sure which one. She would tell me similar stories of how he and his wife would interact with her and it was like they were totally normal, nice, NYC parents. MJF — always had a crush on him! So funny and talented.

    • holly hobby says:

      That is a really sweet story!

    • SB says:

      Liz, thank you so much for sharing this memory!! It gave me the warmest feeling, picturing a walk through Central Park and running into MJF and his dog for the rest of the school year… maybe a mix of remembering my own crush on him when Family Ties came out and walking my own kids to school on those crisp mornings. Sometimes I condense nice memories like this and when I look back, I think, “Oh what a nice period of time that was.” It sounds strange I guess, but life happens and certain times I look back on with even more fondness because hard times were to follow. I loved reading about your memories!

  12. holly hobby says:

    I’m actually old enough to remember the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with this group! Tracy was engaged or dating Kevin when she was on Family Ties. Then she left the show, her and Kevin broke up and she began seeing MJF. Yep that’s old pre-internet gossip!