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    Michael J. Fox Reflects on Fame, Talent, and Resilience Amid Parkinson’s

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    Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox at Spike TV’s “Scream 2010,” Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA. 10-16-10

    Michael J. Fox, the beloved actor who won hearts in the ’80s with iconic roles in “Family Ties” and the “Back to the Future” franchise, has offered a candid perspective on fame in the pre-social media era and his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.

    Tracey Pollan, Michael J. Fox at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards Arrivals, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA 01-12-14

    The award-winning star, who was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder at the age of 29, has recently been in the spotlight discussing his illustrious career and the challenges he’s faced both on and off the screen.

    Michael J. Fox & Tracy Pollan at the Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium. 09-10-00

    In a compelling interview with People magazine, Fox compared his rise to fame in the ’80s to the current landscape of celebrity culture.

    Michael J. Fox at the 2012 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, CA 09-15-12

    “There’s an expression I referred to when they gave me an honorary Academy Award — somebody said to me the day before, they were talking about getting this award and being famous and they said ‘You’re ‘80s famous,’” he reflected.

    LOS ANGELES – MAY 1: Michael J. Fox at the Julianna Margulies Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony at the Hollywood Boulevard on May 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA

    This era of fame, according to Fox, required a certain grit, “We were tougher. We didn’t have social media, we didn’t have any of that crap. We were just famous. Left to our own resources. And it was an amazing time.”

    Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. 09-20-09

    Fox’s comments draw attention to the stark differences between attaining stardom in the past and the present day, where social media can rapidly catapult individuals to fame. Emphasizing the importance of skill and dedication during his heyday, he remarked, “Well, you had to be talented. That helped.”

    Michael J. Fox at the Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium. 09-10-00

    The actor lamented the current superficial focus on celebrity, “We used to bust our ass, our acting muscles and watch other actors and sit around with other actors and talk about acting and talk about it.

    Michael J. Fox and Doug Wick at the 2002 ShoWest Gala Awards Banquet and Press Conference, Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, 03-07-02

    And now you’ve got people who just go like, ‘Who’s your sweater? What’s your sweater you’re wearing? And what’s that dance step?’ And you’re the most famous person in the world.”

    LOS ANGELES – SEP 15: Michael J Fox arrives at the Primetime Creative Emmys 2012 at Nokia Theater on September 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA

    Despite stepping away from acting in 2020 due to the increasing difficulty in remembering lines caused by Parkinson’s, Fox remains open to roles that align with his current realities.

    His recent project, a documentary titled “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” premiered on Apple TV+ to critical acclaim.

    LOS ANGELES – SEP 22: Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan at the at Nokia Theater on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA

    The film, which received a 99% critic rating from Rotten Tomatoes, is a heartfelt exploration of Fox’s life, struggles, and triumphs.

    The editing style, particularly the sequences from his past and cuts between “Back to the Future” and “Family Ties,” has been especially praised.

    The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which the actor founded after publicly revealing his diagnosis in 1998, has raised over $2 billion for Parkinson’s research, surpassing even the contributions of the United States government.

    Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg , Michael J. Fox and Rep. Annie Kuster in, Keene NH on Feb 8, 2020. (Photo: Chuck Kennedy/PFA)

    His enduring legacy now includes his tireless advocacy and the hope he brings to many facing the disease.

    His presence at events, including comic-cons and the “Back to the Future” reunion panel, continues to inspire. There, his camaraderie with co-star Christopher Lloyd was evident, as was the affection and admiration from fans.

    Relevant articles:
    Michael J. Fox Says You Had to Be Tougher and Talented to Be Famous in the ’80s, Now Anyone Can Do It With Social Media — GeekTyrant, geektyrant.com
    Michael J. Fox’s Heartbreaking Battle, sxustudentmedia.com
    Michael J. Fox, michaeljfox.org
    Michael J. Fox Says Being Famous Was “Tougher” in the ’80s: “You Had to Be Talented”, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 days ago

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