Michael J. Fox: Parkinson’s made me a better person

"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's" Benefit - Arrivals
Actor Michael J. Fox continues to be a class act and a study in positive thinking. With the upcoming release of his new memoir, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future,” Fox shares his point of view on how the diagnosis of Parkinsons’ disease actually made him a better husband, father and overall human being. The cover of the book is a wry take on his “Back to the Future” movies – an image of an overturned skateboard and two sneakered feet stretched out on the ground – an homage to his skateboarding Marty McFly character.

Michael J. Fox says that being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease was the best thing that ever happened to him.

That’s the stunning admission the beloved actor makes in his upcoming book, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future…” according to a publishing source. The book is being released by Hyperion this month.

Before being stricken with Parkinson’s in 1991, Michael says he was a “schmuck” who drank too much and cruised through life in the fast lane.

The dreaded Parkinson’s diagnosis shortly after his father’s death sent him into a downward spiral of depression, he reveals in the book.

For a while, Michael drank and took his medications at the same time, trying to mask his pain. But eventually, the boozing isolated him from his wife Tracy and their four children, leaving him feeling even more hopeless.

He drank so much, he started experiencing toxic side effects, he reveals.

After hitting rock bottom, Michael realized he wasn’t going to die soon. He says he was forced to be a better person, and credits the disease with turning his life around.

In the book, Michael, 48, points out that he’s not the eternal optimist people often believe him to be.

He views himself as a realist, saying that while life delivered him a catastrophe, the disease brought him a richer life.

[From The National Enquirer print version, April 19, 2010]

Wow, I had no idea that Michael J. Fox was a big drinker. He sure did a good job hiding it. Suddenly, his performance in “Bright Lights, Big City” makes a lot more sense to me now. I am looking forward to reading this book, because I’m a huge fan, and also because I think his story is very inspiring. Anyone who has been dealt a tough break in life can look at him as an example of someone who is trying to make the most of it.

Photo by: KGC16/starmaxinc.com 2010 3/10/10 Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan on holiday in

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14 Responses to “Michael J. Fox: Parkinson’s made me a better person”

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  1. Sumodo1 says:

    Glad Michael feels that way, I mean, whatever gets you through. But, I do not believe that Lyme Disease has made me a better person. No way.

  2. Sarah says:

    He’s such an inspiration.

  3. Naye in VA says:

    Love Love Love MJ Fox. He’s really been an inspiration since he announced his battle with Parkinson’s. I remember i think it was his Barbara Walters special (or Oprah), and he showed how the shakes take over his body and it a daily struggle for him to get thru it, and it was so sad. I’m happy that he is still going strong

  4. lucy2 says:

    I’ve always liked him, and really have to admire how he looks at life. Sometimes it’s the really difficult stuff that makes us appreciate what we have.
    I’d like to read his book sometime.

  5. Q says:

    I loved MJF when he was young and cute, I loved him when he grew up to be a bit snarkier and devilishly funny, but the fact that’s he’s managed to be all these things and never a self-righteous loser despite his illness might be the greatest part of all. Oh and despite what he says – even prior to his Parkinson’s diagnosis, he was heavily involved with the Ronald McDonald House and other charities.
    So I guess what I’m saying is I disagree that Parkinson’s made him a better person – he was a great person all along.

  6. SammyHammy says:

    I think his wife deserves some credit, too. A lot of Hollywood actresses would turn tail and run at the thought of having to deal with and care for someone with an incurable illness. Instead, she has stayed with him and, by all accounts, raised a happy family with him. It just speaks well of her character.

  7. Jeri says:

    Agree with what everyone has said. Great Guy! Great Wife & Kids!

  8. Kaye says:

    They are an inspiring family.

  9. Ruffian9 says:


  10. Lita says:

    I like MJF – from Family Ties to films, like Back to the Future movies and funny stuff like ‘the secret of my success’ – good movies from a simpler, more garish time (the 80′s). And he still (when you put it in context of his age) has that baby-face. I heard that he always waxed his face, and that’s why he had such smooth skin. Heard that probably a decade ago.

    Sumodo – that’s rough. Don’t blame you for not sharing the tick love. Yeesh. Good luck.

  11. Michelle says:

    I have always loved and respected MJF. He rode the teen movie wave, stayed out of the Brat Pack, and never really had a scandal. His family seems to be normal. Now let’s hope nothing comes out about him and a cheating scandal because then I would just lose all hope!

  12. Lynn says:

    I have always liked Michael J. Fox and he’s a incredible actor and activist. I support him 4 having the courage to come out and have Parkinson’s. that’s hard to say in public. His wife Tracy Pollan is a wonderful actress and a great mother. They’re kids are beautiful and brought up well. Go Michael. i can’t wait till your next book comes out. i have read the other 2 and i loved them.

  13. Laura says:

    As someone whose grandmother just died with Parkinson, and has an uncle and aunt both diagnosed before 50 years old, Michael J Fox has been an inspiration and a Godsend.
    He has brought awareness to this horrible disease and has the fame and clout to be able to raise money to combat this illness.
    My family is so thankful for his work.

  14. scout says:

    Ditto on everything written here! God bless Michael and his family!