Michael J. Fox gets teary-eyed when speaking of wife’s support

About 35 years ago, when Tracy Pollan vowed that she’d be with Michael J. Fox “for better or for worse and in sickness and in health,” she meant every word.

Since her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease only three years after they wed, Pollan stood by Fox and has been “there on the front lines” with him “every single day.”

Teary-eyed, the retired star says of his devoted wife, “One of the things I’ll always love Tracy for is that at that moment, she didn’t blink.” Keep reading to learn more about the couple’s enviable bond!

Finding fame while portraying the ambitious and intelligent Alex P. Keaton in the hit TV series Family Ties (1982 to 1989), a young Michael J. Fox was poised to be one of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

The Golden Globe winning-actor was the cute preppy, Canadian-born actor that girls around the world swooned over.

But when he met Tracy Pollan, who played his girlfriend Ellen Reed on the award-winning comedy series that spanned seven seasons, it was game over.

Pollan, now 63, and Fox, 62, were married in 1988 at the height of his career, just as his TV personality was transitioning into the film star, Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy.

In 1991, the same year his comedy film Doc Holiday was released, the Emmy Award-winning actor, 29 at the time, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

In November 2022, while accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Fox recalled his painful journey with Parkinson’s disease.

“I was told I only had 10 years left to work. That was s***ty. That’s what happened. The hardest part of my diagnosis was grappling with the certainty of the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation,” Fox said. “I only knew it would get worse. The diagnosis was definite, the progress was indefinite and uncertain. My wife [Pollan] made it clear that she was with me for the duration. But my young son, Sam, didn’t know. He didn’t have a choice.”

The children

The couple share son Sam Michael, 34, twin daughters Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances, 29, and Esmé Annabelle, 22.

“If I’m reaching for something, they’ll just do it and carry on,” he said of his children in an interview with Good Housekeeping . “[They have learned] empathy, resilience, and also sorting out what’s important from what’s not, things like vanity.”

Fox shares a close relationship with his now adult children, who frequently make guest appearances on his Instagram account.

“Our children are beautiful, sensitive, intelligent, empathetic, independent, compassionate, adventurous, lovely people,” he captioned a Mother’s Day tribute to Pollan in May 2022. “That’s your fault. We all love you so much. Happy Mother’s Day.”

‘In sickness and in health’

In March 2023, the couple spoke with People about their continued support for one another and how they nurture their relationship.

“I think we really listen to each other; we are there for each other when we need each other,” Pollan said.  “And then we also give each other space when that’s needed. Just feeling off of what’s needed at the moment and trying to be there.”

Adding to that sentiment, Fox chimed in saying, “Tracy gives our family everything that we need. Any good in our family, anything good that we do, comes from her.”

In early November 2023, the Teen Wolf star spoke on CBS mornings and discussed how his loving wife has been his greatest champion for 35 years.

“It’s been great for me, I don’t know how it is for her,” Fox joked. “I love Tracy obviously and she’s an amazing person and has gone through a lot. I realize she has a life separate from me having Parkinson’s, from me being Alex Keaton or Marty McFly, she’s a person. I think that’s why it’s gone okay.”

The star, who voiced Chance on the 1993 family film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, also shared how Pollan continues to honor her wedding vows.

“I had no idea what to expect [since the diagnosis], and neither did she. She had indicated to me by saying, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health…She was able to get me through it, and go through it with me. And she has for 35 years.”

Fox adds “She’s there in the front lines with me every single day. She never pretends to know as much as I know.”

Speaking with Today in 2020, Fox, who was overcome with emotion when talking about his Pollan, said: “One of the things I’ll always love Tracy for is that at that moment [of diagnosis], she didn’t blink.”

The multiple award-winning actor is the founder of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which according to the organization’s website, has raised almost $2 billion towards finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive brain disorder.

As for Fox, his mind is still razor-sharp.

“I’ll be survived by my reruns. That gave me a little bit of a dash of immortality,” adds the charming icon.

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