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Michael J. Fox reveals that his Parkinson’s disease has affected his memory

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Michael J. Fox reveals Parkinson’s disease affected his memory and the kind of roles he takes: ‘I couldn’t remember the rules’

Michael J. Fox has shared how his Parkinson’s disease affected his acting career and the types of projects he takes on now.

While appearing on Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Working outpodcast, the 60-year-old actor admitted that remembering lines has become more difficult since he was first diagnosed.

“When I did the spin-off of The Good Wife, The Good Fight, I couldn’t remember the rules. I just had this empty, I couldn’t remember the rules,” he stated.

Struggle: Michael J. Fox, 60, said his Parkinson’s disease has impacted his career and the projects he undertakes, admitting that memorizing rules has become more difficult; Pictured in 2021

The Canadian star revealed that he didn’t struggle with his lyrics when he was younger, while reminiscing about his role on Family Ties, an NBC sitcom he starred in from 1982 to 1989.

“I’d say, ‘I’m in. Mallory, get on the phone.’ And I knew it, like in an instant, and it stayed that way for me,” said the actor.

‘I have 70 pages of dialogue on one’ [Brian] The Palma film, and knowing that a hugely expensive Steadicam shot depends on me knowing the rules – not a drop of sweat on my forehead,” he added, referring to the 1989 film Casualties of War, where he co-starred with Sean Penn.

Lijnen: 'When I did the spin-off of The Good Wife, The Good Fight, I couldn't remember the rules.  I just had this blank, I couldn't remember the lines';  Pictured on The Good Fight

Lijnen: ‘When I did the spin-off of The Good Wife, The Good Fight, I couldn’t remember the rules. I just had this blank, I couldn’t remember the lines’; Pictured on The Good Fight

Fox admitted he no longer takes on projects with a lot of rules: “I can’t remember five pages of dialogue. I can’t do it,’ he said. “So I’m going to the beach.”

The longtime movie star previously shared his struggles with Parkinson’s in a 2020 interview with Peoplediscussing his short-term memory, tremors, and rigidity.

“My short-term memory is broken,” he said, adding, “I’ve always had a real knack for lines and memorization. And I had some extreme situations where the last few jobs I did were actually really word-heavy parts. I’ve had a hard time with both of them.’

The actor was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a long-term degenerative disease of the central nervous system, in 1991. He made his diagnosis known in 1998 and continued his acting career.

With Sean: Fox said he didn't struggle with lines when he was younger, recalling his '70 pages of dialogue' on the 1989 film Casualties of War, where he co-starred with Sean Penn

With Sean: Fox said he didn’t struggle with lines when he was younger, recalling his ’70 pages of dialogue’ on the 1989 film Casualties of War, where he co-starred with Sean Penn

Since then, he has played in many projects, including: The good woman, designated survivor, The good fight, and see you yesterday.

In an interview in 2021 with AARP the magazineFox stated that he has found purpose and joy despite living with the disease.

“When I came through that darkness, I also gained insight into my father-in-law, who had passed away and always harbored gratitude, acceptance and trust. And I started noticing things that I was grateful for and the way other people would respond to difficulties with gratitude,” he added.

“I concluded that gratitude makes optimism enduring,” said the actor.

Strong: The actor was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991, went public with his diagnosis in 1998 and continued his successful acting career;  Pictured in 2021

Strong: The actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, went public with his diagnosis in 1998 and continued his successful acting career; Pictured in 2021

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