We may not see Michael J. Fox on screen anymore.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Canadian-American actor reveals in his new memoir No Time Like the Future, that he is retiring from acting once again due to declining health.
“There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a twelve-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me,” Fox writes. “At least for now … I enter a second retirement. That could change, because everything changes. But if this is the end of my acting career, so be it.”
The actor was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at age 29. He went public with the diagnosis in 1998, becoming a strong advocate for Parkinson’s research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
In 2000, Fox retired from his starring role in the sitcom “Spin City”, though he continued to act, appearing in guest roles on a number of shows, including “Scrubs”, “Rescue Me”, “The Good Wife” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
In 2013 and 2014 he also starred in his TV sitcom comeback, with the single-season comedy “The Michael J. Fox Show”.
The Irish Times published more details from the memoir, including Fox’s experience being in a wheelchair following his surgery two years ago to remove a benign tumour from his spinal cord.
“It can be a frustrating and isolating experience, allowing someone else to determine the direction I’m going and the rate of speed I can travel. The pusher is in charge,” he writes. “From the point of view of the occupant of the chair, it’s a world of asses and elbows. No one can hear me. To compensate, I raise my voice and suddenly feel like Joan Crawford in ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’, barking out orders.
“Generally the person in control is a stranger, an airport or hotel employee. I’m sure that if we could look each other in the eye, we’d recognize our mutual humanity. But often in the wheelchair, I’m luggage. I’m not expected to say much. Just sit still.”
Fox adds, “No one listens to luggage.”
In his memoir, Fox also opens up about his struggles with alcohol, recalling his son Sam telling him “that his earliest memories include going to the fridge to get me beers.” Fox quit drinking when his son was three years old and has remained sober since.