Michael J. Fox reveals his Parkinson's disease has left him unable to remember lines

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By stefan armitage

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Michael J. Fox has revealed that his Parkinson's disease has impacted his ability to remember his lines.

The 60-year-old Back To The Future star was first diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder back in 1991 when he was just 29 years old.

After going public with his battle with the disease in 1998, the beloved actor launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which is "dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today".

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Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Now, speaking on the Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcast, Fox has revealed how the disease has affected his ability to memorize lines for roles.

"When I did the spinoff from The Good Wife - which is The Good Fight [2017] - I couldn’t remember the lines," he said. "I just had this blank... I couldn’t remember the lines."

Fox recalled how he had never had trouble memorizing his lines when he was younger and recalled his time on the popular 80s US sitcom Family Ties.

He explained: "I’d go, 'I’m in. Mallory, get off the phone.' And I knew it, like in an instant, and it continued to be that way for me."

Fox then spoke about how he was required to learn "70 pages of dialogue" for Brian De Palma's 1989 American war drama Casualties of War. Despite having "hugely expensive Steadicam shot" dependant on Fox nailing his lines, he said he did not have "a trickle of sweat" of his brow.

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Michael J. Fox in The Good Fight. Credit: Album / Alamy

However, now he admits that he "can’t remember five pages of dialogue".

But, fully aware of his limitations, Fox added: "I can’t do it. So I go to the beach."

In a new interview with AARP Magazine last year, Fox explained that doctors originally told him he had 10 years left in his acting career.

Nevertheless, Fox went on to star in 103 episodes of Spin City, make guest appearances in shows like Scrubs and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and appear in CBS' The Good Fight.

"I’m kind of a freak," he said. "It’s weird that I’ve done as well as I have for as long as I have."

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Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Fox then detailed how his battle with Parkinson's is not purely based on visual symptoms.

"People often think of Parkinson’s as a visual thing, but the visuals of it are nothing," he said. "On any given day, my hands could be barely shaking or they could be... It's what you can’t see — the lack of an inner gyroscope, of a sense of balance, of peripheral perception.

"I mean, I’m sailing a ship on stormy seas on the brightest of days."

Featured image credit: AFF / Alamy

Michael J. Fox reveals his Parkinson's disease has left him unable to remember lines

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Michael J. Fox has revealed that his Parkinson's disease has impacted his ability to remember his lines.

The 60-year-old Back To The Future star was first diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder back in 1991 when he was just 29 years old.

After going public with his battle with the disease in 1998, the beloved actor launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which is "dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today".

size-large wp-image-1263137401
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Now, speaking on the Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcast, Fox has revealed how the disease has affected his ability to memorize lines for roles.

"When I did the spinoff from The Good Wife - which is The Good Fight [2017] - I couldn’t remember the lines," he said. "I just had this blank... I couldn’t remember the lines."

Fox recalled how he had never had trouble memorizing his lines when he was younger and recalled his time on the popular 80s US sitcom Family Ties.

He explained: "I’d go, 'I’m in. Mallory, get off the phone.' And I knew it, like in an instant, and it continued to be that way for me."

Fox then spoke about how he was required to learn "70 pages of dialogue" for Brian De Palma's 1989 American war drama Casualties of War. Despite having "hugely expensive Steadicam shot" dependant on Fox nailing his lines, he said he did not have "a trickle of sweat" of his brow.

size-large wp-image-1263156925
Michael J. Fox in The Good Fight. Credit: Album / Alamy

However, now he admits that he "can’t remember five pages of dialogue".

But, fully aware of his limitations, Fox added: "I can’t do it. So I go to the beach."

In a new interview with AARP Magazine last year, Fox explained that doctors originally told him he had 10 years left in his acting career.

Nevertheless, Fox went on to star in 103 episodes of Spin City, make guest appearances in shows like Scrubs and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and appear in CBS' The Good Fight.

"I’m kind of a freak," he said. "It’s weird that I’ve done as well as I have for as long as I have."

size-large wp-image-1263130223
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Fox then detailed how his battle with Parkinson's is not purely based on visual symptoms.

"People often think of Parkinson’s as a visual thing, but the visuals of it are nothing," he said. "On any given day, my hands could be barely shaking or they could be... It's what you can’t see — the lack of an inner gyroscope, of a sense of balance, of peripheral perception.

"I mean, I’m sailing a ship on stormy seas on the brightest of days."

Featured image credit: AFF / Alamy