More than three decades since they tied the knot at West Mountain Inn in Arlington, Vermont, Michael J. Fox can’t stop gushing abut his “beautiful” wife and “surf junkie beach babe” Tracy. The two met playing each other’s love interests in eighties sitcom Family Ties then wed in July 1988.
In Fox's new book, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, the 59-year-old actor describes Tracy as his “rock that keeps on rolling.”
“She puts up with me,” Fox told ET. “She doesn't cut me any slack, which is great. She’s honest, affectionate, kind, smart and she's just there in a pinch. She's beautiful and I love her and she's sexy and gorgeous.”
“She's a great mother, great cook and great bodyboard surf junkie beach babe,” Fox continued. “She's just cool. She's my best friend. And, she's got a sense of humor!”
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a difficult year for many people, it was while quarantining with Tracy and their family in Long Island, New York, that Fox completed a huge chunk of writing for his fourth book.
He says the pandemic also gifted him quality time with his four children, who range in age from 19 to 31.
“When we were quarantined from the middle of March through to Labor Day, we were all together and it's just amazing," he shared. "What sticks with me is all the movies we watched and puzzles we did and all the time we spent with each other after dinner.”
“Tracy would make meals and we'd sit around afterwards for hours having conversations about the world and social justice and all kinds of things that came up in the outside world,” he continued. “I was just amazed.”
Fox's family have stood by him through three decades of living with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder which he was diagnosed with in 1991. He also had a tumor removed from his spine in 2018, which required him to learn to walk again. While recovering from the operation, he suffered a fall which “shattered” his arm.
Reflecting on his health battles, Fox says his greatest lesson has been that of acceptance.
“It doesn't mean you can't endeavor to change, but you have to accept the reality of something and say, ‘This is a fact. This is an actual thing I have to deal with,’’ he said. “When you do that, it gets formed [and] shaped and the space around you is open for you to do other things. But if you don't accept it, it becomes an ooze that seeps into every cranny of your life and you can't control it and it just haunts you.”
Thanks to his positive attitude and acceptance, Fox has been able to continue acting and his work with his Parkinson's research and advocacy organization, the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
But what would he tell his younger self when it came to entering showbiz?
“Just slow down and take it in a little bit more instead of speeding,” he reflects. “My world changed so fast so from the time I was 18 and moved to the States, to the time I was 21 doing Family Ties. My life totally changed and I had a whole new world of opportunities. That’s something that I should've taken advantage of.”
“I'm more thoughtful now,” he continued. “I plan a little bit more now. I don't throw myself into situations.”