Michael J. Fox is taking a second retirement from acting. The Back to the Future actor states as much in his fourth memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, which is out on Tuesday. In the book, Fox talks about his trials with Parkinson's and getting older, acknowledging that acting may now be beyond him: “There is a time for everything," Fox writes, "And my time of putting in a twelve-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me. At least for now ... I enter a second retirement. That could change, because everything changes. But if this is the end of my acting career, so be it."
In his new memoir, Michael J. Fox goes on to reveal that his decision to step back from acting isn't just about age and the typical "old man problems." According to LA Times' preview, Fox makes some pretty intimate confessions about how his mental cognition is showing signs of decline - as is typical of many patients with Parkinson's. Fox describes experiencing memory loss, confusion, delusions, and symptoms of dementia. He shares anecdotes about looking for car keys (years after he stopped driving); talking to people who aren't there; and even confusing his twin daughters.
It's a sobering look at the reality of where Michael J. Fox is these days, nearly 30 years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's - but not everything is doom-and-gloom. True to his book's title (and his own lived experience), Fox is an optimist who has been living a full life - including more than 30 years with wife Tracy Pollan. More recently, Fox found inspiration in a most unexpected place: Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood:
"DiCaprio, playing a cowboy actor who’s seen better days, keeps screwing up his lines ... Furious at himself over his chronic inability to remember and deliver the dialogue... [he] berates himself viciously over his abject failure. I feel his pain. I’ve obviously been there.
But weighed against everything else in my life, I don’t find it worthy of self-excoriation ... My work as an actor does not define me."
Michael J. Fox certainly doesn't have to worry about still defining himself by his acting - the work he's already done still lives on strong today. Back to the Future is one of the few film franchises that haven't been forced into reboot; Teen Wolf inspired a whole new generation of content and fans; even The Frighteners is still considered a cult-classic. On the television front, Family Ties and Spin City are still enduring series - and that's just a sampling of what Fox has done.
Michael J. Fox's new memoir No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, is out on Tuesday.