Michael J Fox Owes His 31-Year-Long Marriage to His Wife's Strength in Helping Him Battle Parkinson's Disease

Michael J Fox Owes His 31-Year-Long Marriage to His Wife's Strength in Helping Him Battle Parkinson's Disease

Michael J Fox and Tracy Pollan were cast together in Family Ties in 1985, which is how they met. They have four kids together.

With 31-years of love and togetherness between them, actors Michael J Fox and Tracy Pollan have one of the strongest Hollywood marriages. The couple has been together in sickness and in health and has been tested again and again since Fox's diagnosis. 

When they met on the set of Family Ties in 1985, Pollan wasn't instantly taken in by him. That was also because the now happily married couple was seeing different people back then. It took them a few years to come together and the rest is history. What sets this relationship in stone is their deep commitment in the face of Fox's Parkinson's diagnosis. 


“He was very cocky,” she said, according to Express UK. “He was funny, but he was cocky.” Fox, though, thought of her as cool. "I always thought [Tracy] was cool," Fox told People years later, according to EOnline, "but it was like a couple of married people who worked together and liked each other." 

He was already extremely popular thanks to the Back to the Future film, which later became a series all starring Michael as Marty McFly. "Before Tracy and I started seeing each other, I was this boy prince of Hollywood," Fox told Oprah Winfrey for O Magazine in 2002. 


The couple was really a case of opposites attract because Michael himself thought that Tracy was a fish out of water in Los Angeles. "She's so unassuming and natural that it is hard for her to fit in," he said, according to EOnline. Within two years of knowing each other, they became deeply committed and on July 16, 1988, they tied the knot. 

Their life together has been one of struggle but it never occurred to them that they should separate. Whatever lemons life threw at them, they handled together. They welcomed their first child, Sam Michael Fox, a year later. "...Tracy had a really good pregnancy, and it was a good delivery. Thank God, she was healthy and Sam was healthy," Fox told People in December 1989.


But, a little blip showed up in their paradise two years later. In 1991, at the age of 29, the brilliant and funny man got diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. For seven long years, he kept the diagnosis confidential and suffered in private. Only his wife saw his struggles. 

"I thought I'd hurt my shoulder doing some stunt because I had a twitch in my pinkie," Fox said on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2015. "And the doctor said, 'You have Parkinson's disease.' He said, 'The good news is that you have 10 years of work left.'" 


Soon, he realized that he had no choice but to take life "one day at a time". Meanwhile, he was also working furiously to ensure his family was secure for the rest of their lives. 

"The reason I wasn't telling was that I wondered if people would still laugh if they knew I was sick," Fox told Oprah Winfrey. "I finally thought, let me not worry about that. What other people think is none of my business. I just have to have faith in the audience. If it's funny, they'll laugh." 


Pollan has also been very honest about their relationship and acknowledged the good and the bad. "A lot of my adjustment has been dictated by Michael's point of view," she said to Oprah in 2002. "He's so relaxed [now] and so accepting of where he is, and that makes it easier for me, the kids, and everyone around him," she added. 


"When I was first diagnosed, my line to Tracy was 'It's going to be okay'—but I was really freaking out," Fox told Winfrey. "I had no idea what Parkinson's was, and I was in denial. ...When the doctor first told me I had Parkinson's, I wanted to kill him. I thought, 'What a s--ty thing to say to somebody!' 


It took him a few years to get out of the funk, but they are in a great place now. The kids have flown out of the nest and their focus has shifted to raising awareness about Parkinson's. But, whenever he appears on screen again like The Good Wife and Designated Survivor fans are always happy to welcome him. 


What makes them a solid couple is their sense of humor and commitment. "There are so many times when you have arguments, when you have things come up, and it really doesn't have anything to do with what he did, or said – it's how I am projecting that onto myself," she said, according to Inside Weddings. "A lot of times he'll just say to me, 'You know who I am, would I ever say anything to try to hurt your feelings? Just give me the benefit of the doubt.'" And, she does do that. 

 "You just have [to have] the perspective that you're behind each other's back – and it helps if you can make each other laugh," she said. 








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