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Michael J Fox Retires from Acting due to Health Issues

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Back to the Future star Michael J Fox says he is retiring from acting due to declining health.

The 59-year old revealed his decision in the pages of his new memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.

He says he’s entering a "second retirement" and is prepared for it to be the end of is acting career.

"There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a 12-hour workday, and memorising seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me," the actor wrote.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1991 when he was 29 and went public with the news in 1998. He continued his acting career, appearing on hit shows including Spin City and The Good Wife.

He says the decision to retire comes after noticing symptoms of the neurological condition, including loss of memory, delusions and dementia along with a decline in his cognitive function. Which for an actor who needs to memorise lines is a big deal.

He told People magazine earlier this month his decades-long battle with Parkinson’s has affected his memorisation, saying his short-term memory was “shot”.

"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," he admitted.

But he’s stayed optimistic despite the challenges, and says it’s all about having gratitude.

“Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance," Fox told People. "Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. 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.”

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