Michael J. Fox Reveals He Is Now Retiring From Acting Due to Declining Health

Michael J. Fox is retiring from acting once again due to poor health. According to The Los Angeles Times, the actor, 59, revealed in his new memoir, No Time Like the Future, that he has no plans to return to the screen amid his long-term battle with Parkinson’s disease.

"There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a 12-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me," Fox writes in his new memoir. "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."

This is Fox's second time stepping back from acting, retiring in 2000 from his starring role in Spin City to appear in guest roles on Scrubs, The Good Wife, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2013, he returned to TV for a single-season sitcom called The Michael J. Fox Show. His career has ebbed and flowed as his health allowed after being diagnosed at age 29 with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, Fox alluded to the possible end of his acting career, revealing his memory issues were making memorizing scripts almost impossible. "My short-term memory is shot," Fox told the magazine. "I always had a real proficiency for lines and memorization. And I had some extreme situations where the last couple of jobs I did were actually really word-heavy parts. I struggled during both of them."


Fox has found proficiency in writing as his career has shifted. "I’m down to this," he said of penning his memoirs. "My guitar playing is no good. My sketching is no good anymore, my dancing never was good, and acting is getting tougher to do. So it’s down to writing. Luckily, I really enjoy it."

Following a 2018 surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor from the base of his spine, Fox said he learned "optimism is really rooted in gratitude" as he had to learn how to walk a second time. He explained, "Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance. It doesn't mean that you can’t endeavor to change. It doesn't mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on."