Friday, March 16, 2012

The Fox

This is not a silver fox but rather a fox that, to many, will always be a young man riding on a flying skateboard. Today my entry is on the actor Michael J. Fox. He wasn't born in Vancouver, rather Edmonton, Alberta, but the Fox family did move to nearby Burnaby in 1971 when his father, a police officer and member of the Canadian Forces, retired.

Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961. According to Fox's first role was in the show The Beachcombers in 1973 and then there is nothing listed for another four years but after that, this Canadian actor started working steadily.

It was in 1979 that the young Fox was discovered by producer Ronald Shedlo and made his American debut in the movie Letters from Frank. For this feature Fox was billed as Michael Fox and the young actor had intended on using that moniker but when he went to register with the Screen Actor's Guild he discovered that there was another actor by that name. He decided on the middle initial J. as a tribute to actor Michael J. Pollard.

Many of us at a certain age are familiar with Fox's role as Alex P. Keaton in the show Family Ties and his explosive successes with the Back to the Future series. As well as his other movies and guest appearances. Many of us are also aware of the numerous awards that Fox has won -numerous Emmy Awards, Golden Globe, People's Choice, Screen Actors Guild and the list goes on.

Fox has also spent time as a successful producer. And he has authored three nonfiction books. It would seem like an understatement to say that Michael J. Fox is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. But then one day it looked like it could all go away.

While filming Doc Hollywood in 1990, Fox began displaying the signs of early onset Parkinson's disease. A year later he was diagnosed with the disease and Fox began drinking heavily. Something that is common with people who are diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness such as this.

I saw an interview with Michael in which he talked about this time in his life. It was his wife Tracy Pollan who basically told him to make a choice about how he was going to live his life. And he did. Fox got help, quit drinking and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation in order to find a cure for this disease.
Since the formation of the foundation Michael J. Fox has become a fervent activist in his fight to find a cure for Parkinson's. Instead of hiding away like many may have, Fox chose to take his illness and all of its effects public. He wants people to see what this does, he wants them to know. And maybe that way there will be a way towards a cure.

I admire Michael J. Fox not only for his work in the entertainment field but also for his fight to end Parkinson's and for his personal life. He has been married to same woman since 1988 - something not usually heard of in Hollywood - and he is the father for four kids. He has been given an immense burden and he is facing it with class and integrity. He has chosen to fight, not only for he and his family but for others that are afflicted with this disease.

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000 and put on disability I was faced with a challenge. It took me some time to adjust but then the realization came that I can take this opportunity and write. I can spend the time learning more about my craft and perfecting it. And with the love and support of my family and help from my doctors I have been given everything I need to deal with this disease.

Good luck Mr. Fox. I hope you find the cure for Parkinson's Disease soon.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

, , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment