The Role of Faith in Michael J. Fox's Battle with Parkinson's Disease

Allison DeGrushe - Author

May 12 2023, Published 3:28 p.m. ET

Michael J. Fox attends "A Country Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's" benefitting The Michael J. Fox Foundation on April 26, 2023.
Source: Getty Images

Although pop culture darling Michael J. Fox is no longer acting, he's just as relevant as ever. The actor, best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film trilogy, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 and has since devoted his life to helping fund research and find a cure.

Article continues below advertisement

Over the years, Michael has been candid about his life through several memoirs and documentaries. He's even spoken about the role of faith in his family life and his battle with Parkinson's disease. Keep scrolling to learn more.

Michael J. Fox during the "Back To The Future Reunion" panel at NYCC on Oct. 08, 2022
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

What is Michael J. Fox's religion?

Michael J. Fox hasn't been known to be religious. In his 2009 memoir, titled Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, he considered himself a lapsed Catholic. However, his marriage to former co-star Tracy Pollan has gotten him involved with Reform Judaism. He and Tracy raised all four of their children Jewish.

"It's fair to say I have staked a claim in Judaism," Michael wrote in his memoir. "I've married a Jewish girl, and we are raising our children in the Jewish culture and, moreover, in the Jewish faith — our three oldest have been bar and bat mizvahed." He also said that he regularly attends a synagogue in Manhattan.

Article continues below advertisement
(L-R) Schuyler Fox, Aquinnah Fox, Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan, Sam Fox, and Esmé Fox at the "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's" gala on Oct. 23, 2021.
Source: Getty Images

(L-R) Schuyler Fox, Aquinnah Fox, Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan, Sam Fox, and Esmé Fox

In December 2007, the former Spin City star was recognized by the Union for Reform Judaism for his work on behalf of Parkinson's disease research and stem cell research. Union President Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie praised Michael's efforts, stating it encapsulated "the highest ideals of Judaism," per 18 Doors.

Article continues below advertisement

While accepting the award, Michael recalled a time when he was helping his twin daughters, Aquinnah and Schuyler, with their Torah homework. The trio then came across a section about David's fight with Goliath and how he refused a sword and armor for the battle.

He then made an analogy between that and the misinformation about stem cell research: "I think David understood something fundamental about the deepest ideals of repairing the world. The armor, the weapons, the swords, they're just a distraction — and distraction is not what wins the battle. You just need the truth."

More from Distractify

Latest Entertainment News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.