Michael J. Fox has spent much of his career keeping fans laughing but now he spends a lot of time laughing at himself.
The actor, who revealed in 1998 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, said, “The truth is that on most days, there comes a point where I literally can’t stop laughing at my own symptoms.”
Fox, who dominated our televisions as uptight student Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties in the early ’80s, then as New York’s deputy mayor Mike Flaherty on Spin City in the 90s, told AARP’s Magazine that seeing the funny side of his illness helped him keep it in perspective.
“You deal with the condition, and you deal with people’s perception of the condition. It was easy for me to tune in to the way other people were looking into my eyes and seeing their own fear reflected back,” he said. I’d assure them that ‘I’m doing great’ — because I was. After a while, the disconnect between the way I felt and the dread people were projecting just seemed, you know, funny.”
The beloved actor described in the US magazine’s April/May edition how he spilt coffee every time he tried to get coffee for his wife Tracy Pollan.
“I begin this trek across the kitchen. It starts off bad. Only gets worse. Hot java’s sloshing onto my hands, onto the floor …” he laughed. “Of course, by the time I reach the table, the cup’s all but empty.”
Since his diagnosis, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has almost $1 billion for research into Parkinson’s disease, the magazine reported, and the actor continues to work, last year getting an Emmy nomination for his role as lawyer Louis Canning in The Good Wife. As the AARP put it in the headline of the article: The Kid Is Alright.