Michael, 61, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which has affected his movement and caused tremors and slurred speech, in the '90s. He has since largely put acting aside to focus on his work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which aims to find a cure for Parkinson's. Meanwhile, his disease has progressed. As he said on CBS This Morning, "Every day, it's tougher."
Over the years, the actor has suffered many other health scares, some related to Parkinson's and some not.
"I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine and it was benign," Michael said on CBS Sunday Morning, appearing to reference a 2018 procedure. "Then I started to break stuff. I broke this arm and I broke this arm, I broke this elbow, I broke my face, I broke my hand."
The actor continued, "Falling and aspirating food and pneumonia. All these subtle ways that gets ya."
Michael, a five-time Emmy winner and recipient of a 2022 honorary Oscar, rose to fame in the '80s, playing Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties and Marty McFly in the Back to the Future films. He said on CBS Sunday Morning that he recently watched the original movie for the first time since 1987. The actor recalled wife Tracy Pollan's reaction.
"She said, 'You're watching Back to the Future?" he recalled. "'Yeah, you know, I'm really good in it.'"
Tracy, who has been married to Michael since 1988, shares four kids with the actor—Sam Fox, 33, twins Aquinnah Fox and Schuyler Fox, 28, and Esmé Fox, 21. The Spin City star appears with his family in a new Apple TV+ documentary about his life, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which is set to begin streaming May 12.
Regarding his outlook on his life, Michael told CBS Morning that he realized that "with gratitude, optimism is sustainable." He added, "If you find something to be grateful for, then you find something to look forward to and you carry on."