Michael J Fox says Parkinson's is 'gift that keeps taking' as he delivers health update

Michael J Fox says Parkinson's is 'gift that keeps taking' as he delivers health update

Michael J Fox appears on BBC Breakfast for an interview about Parkinson's

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 06/02/2024

- 16:07

Updated: 06/02/2024

- 16:31

The retired actor gave a candid interview about his long-term illness recently

Michael J Fox gave an update on his health as he appeared in a televised interview on Tuesday after bagging a Bafta nod for his candid documentary, Still.

The retired actor, 62, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s back in 1991 when the Back to the Future star was just 29.

The activist called the condition “the gift that keeps on taking” as he spoke on the latest BBC Breakfast instalment.

“I would say it's a gift and people would look at me and I'd say it's a gift that keeps on taking, but it's a gift,” he candidly claimed.

Fox continued: “I realised I had to turn it around and turn it into something and make it some positive thing that affected other people in a positive way.

“So I think that's why I started the foundation, but it took me a long time to get there.”

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox has suffered with Parkinson's since he was 29


He went on to describe the documentary as showing what happens when “an incurable optimist meets an incurable disease” as he reflected on the progressive disorder.

“I have Parkinson's, I struggle with it,” he continued before he delved into how he finds the condition over three decades on from his initial diagnosis.

“It's hard, it's annoying,” Fox said. “It's a bit more than annoying but it can be devastating for some people.”

Fox didn’t disclose his condition to the public until 1998, seven years after being diagnosed.

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox retired from acting in 2021


His documentary takes a look at his career before he began to show signs of the illness.

After being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s, doctors informed Fox he wouldn’t be able to work a few years after the diagnosis.

He has dedicated much of his life since to raising awareness and advocating for finding a cure for the devastating condition.

Fox officially retired from acting in 2021 because of his declining health but has continued his activism.

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox talked about his BAFTA nominated documentary


Viewers applauded his interview as they took to X on Tuesday. One wrote: “What an incredible attitude from such a talented man. No self-pity, just an outpouring of positivity and an urge to do something for others. Total respect.”

“Amazing guy,” another simply penned while a third shared: “What a remarkable person he is.”

A fourth viewer echoed: “May I recommend his appearance in 'Boston Legal' also, definite similarities but an utterly selfless character.

“No question the writers embodied Michael J Fox's energy & positivity when writing the role.” (sic)

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