Since his diagnosis with Parkinsons disease was made public in 1998, Michael J Fox has been frank and open about living with the debilitating illness; as well as becoming a staunch advocate for research into the disease. He continues this very personal look into his life in his new sitcom, NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show
While on the publicity trail for the new series, he stopped by The Howard Stern Show yesterday morning (September 25), where he revealed more intimate details
, particularly surrounding his reaction when he was first diagnosed in 1991. Speaking to Stern, he said that his “first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily.” Having come off the success of Family Ties
and the Back to the Future
franchise, Fox was living it up in Hollywood saying that he “used to drink to party.” However, that all changed following his diagnosis, “now I was drinking alone and to just not be [present]. Every day.”
Fox estimates that it was "about a year” of that way of coping, describing it as similar to “a knife fight in a closet, where I just didn’t have my tools to deal with it.” But it was only after he went into therapy that things started to improve and he learned to “take it one day at a time.” When he realised this was when everything “really turn[ed] the other way. My marriage got great, and my career.”
Fox has been married to Tracy Pollan for 25 years and together they have four children. Stern asked and Fox agreed that it was Tracy’s support and the growing realisation that she was not going to leave him that contributed to his change in attitude.
The Michael J Fox Show,
also starring Breaking Bad
's Betsy Brandt and The Wire
's Wendell Pierce, debuts on NBC tonight at 9pm.