Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in 1991 and announced his struggle with the affliction in 1998. He has continued to act throughout the years, but it looks like that might be coming to a close.
In a new interview with People, Michael J. Fox reveals that he has begun to have real trouble with memorizing lines for roles. “My short-term memory is shot,” said Fox. The 59-year-old actor mentions that his last few acting roles involved a lot of lines and that he had genuine difficulty with keeping them in his mind.
It’s a sad update on Michael J. Fox after all these years. He has always been a warm and welcome presence in any project he shows up in. Knowing that he could possibly be seriously downgrading his acting presence is a loss for anyone who loves great performances. Fox is the kind of actor who never phoned it in, and made an impression every time he showed up on the big or small screen.
It is clear that Michael J. Fox has been fighting against Parkinson’s disease for longer than we even realized. There is a somewhat famous outtake from the criminally underappreciated horror-comedy The Frighteners in which Fox has a moment where he has to call out a character’s name, but he suddenly has a flashback to his Marty McFly character and calls out for Christopher Lloyd’s character, Doc Brown.
While it is a funny blooper, it is very likely that Michael J. Fox was being affected by Parkinson’s during these moments. There is no doubt that it has only gotten stronger in the intervening years. Could this mean that Fox will give up acting completely? If so, what would the future look like for the beloved actor?
Well, there would still be the potential for voice acting roles since line memorization wouldn’t be as necessary, but it sounds like Michael J. Fox has found an avenue that he enjoys even more than acting: writing. His fourth memoir, No Time Like The Future, will be hitting bookshelves on November 17. “My guitar playing is no good. My sketching is no good anymore, my dancing never was good, and acting is getting tougher to do. So it’s down to writing. Luckily, I really enjoy it,” said Fox.
It is going to be a real downer when Michael J. Fox officially announces that he is retiring completely from the acting world. Most people will primarily know Fox thanks to the Back to the Future films, and it is looking like Fox’s voice appearance in Back to the Future: The Game will be his final appearance as the character of Marty McFly. You can watch that sequence right here:
Hopefully, Michael J. Fox can deliver one more great performance for all of his fans before he decides to retire from acting forever. If not, we can always look back at his excellent career and possibly discover a few movies that we have not seen before. And if Fox wants to pursue writing, it would be great to see what kind of fictional stories he might be able to spin in his later years. Would he even be up for writing a Back to the Future novel of sorts? Only time will tell.