When Spin City
star Michael J. Fox
was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease back in 1990 it was nothing more than an odd twitch in his pinkie. By 1996, when production began on Spin City
, his body was convulsing out of control. "[I] could mix a margarita in about five seconds," he tells Redbook
Now, four years later, Fox, 38, is a little less shaky, thanks in part to medication and a touch-and-go brain operation. And he's Spinning out of his hit show at the end of this season to spend more time with his family and become a full-time poster boy for a Parkinson's cure.
In sickness and in health, his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, has been the designated hand-holder, and Fox feels blessed. "If I only had Tracy," he says, it'd be enough. A great deal of my optimism comes from Tracy."
Married since 1988, Fox remembers when he broke the news to Tracy about his illness. "She didn't panic. She didn't draw back. There was just that moment when you know and you just go, 'You are with me for the long haul, aren't you?' And I could just tell immediately that she was."
Pollan says Fox gives her the physical and emotional fuel to enjoy the good days and get through the rough ones. "He's just the ultimate optimist, and he always has been. It's hard to worry when you live with Michael because he's not a worrier.... He's really taught me to live in the present."