Michael J. Fox leaving 'Spin City' to be with family, fight
January 18, 2000
Web posted at: 10:21 p.m. EST (0321 GMT)
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Michael J. Fox, the star of the hit TV
show "Spin City" who suffers from Parkinson's disease, says
he is leaving the sitcom to spend more time with his family
and focus on seeking a cure for the disease.
Fox announced Tuesday that he will not return to the show
after the completion of its fourth season. The decision came
"after long and careful consideration," Fox said.
"I could not be more proud of the show, our cast, writers,
crew, and all that we have accomplished over the last four
years, yet I feel that right now my time and energy would be
better spent with my family and working toward a cure for
Parkinson's disease," he said in a written statement.
"This does not mean I am retiring from acting, producing or
directing, only that I want to relieve the strain of
producing and performing a weekly network series," Fox said.
Fox, 'Spin City' in line for Golden Globes
"Spin City" is up for a Golden Globe at this weekend's awards
ceremony in the category of the best television series,
musical or comedy.
Fox is a nominee for best actor, and co-star Heather Locklear
is up for best actress. Fox has already won two Golden Globes
with the show for best actor and also received two Emmy
nominations for outstanding actor.
"Spin City" made its debut on September 17, 1996.
Sitcom's future unclear
It was not immediately clear what the show's fate will be
after this season. ABC Entertainment issued a brief
statement, saying the star would be deeply missed.
"Michael has been an extraordinary creative partner over the
past four years. We know that 'Spin City' has been a labor of
love for Michael and we are proud to have been a part of its
success," the statement said.
"But there are clearly more important things in life, and we
wish Michael and his family our heartfelt thanks and
continued support. We look forward to working with Michael in
his future endeavors."
Actor is active despite disease
In November 1998, Fox announced he had been suffering from
Parkinson's for seven years, and he underwent brain surgery
in March of that year to lessen the tremors caused by the
He has since dedicated his time to focusing attention on the
disease. He appeared before three congressional subcommittees
in late September 1999 and asked for more federal money in
the search for a cure for Parkinson's.
"What celebrity has given me," Fox said, "is the opportunity
to raise the visibility of Parkinson's disease
and focus attention on the desperate need for more research
Fox became a household name in the 1980s when he starred as
Alex P. Keaton, the conservative, heartless son of two hippie
parents in the TV sitcom "Family Ties." On that success, Fox
built a movie career, with blockbuster hits like "Back to the
A crippling illness affecting 1 million Americans
Parkinson's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease
that ultimately renders some patients unable to walk, talk or
take care of themselves. Other patients are able to manage
their symptoms for many years without becoming disabled.
An estimated 1 million Americans -- including Attorney
General Janet Reno and former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali
-- suffer from the disease, which has no known cause and no
Health: Parkinson's Disease
Michael J. Fox pitches for Parkinson's research
September 28, 1999
Drug may provide new hope for Parkinson's treatment
July 26, 1999
Michael J. Fox reveals he has Parkinson's disease
November 25, 1998
Internet Movie Database: Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox, A Biography
ABC-TV's Spin City
National Parkinson Foundation
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
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