May 12, 2023 –  Fox can still recall telling his wife the diagnosis he would keep from the world for nine years. “I remember the exact moment, exactly where we were,” says Fox, gesturing to the bedroom hallway just off-camera where he heard Pollan respond with the powerful words, “In sickness and in health.”

Michael J. Fox has been many things in his remarkable life: a “Family Ties” Young Republican, a “Back to the Future” time traveler and a “Spin City” political adviser. But he was never a pumpkin until Parkinson’s disease.

“Can you excuse me for a sec?” Fox asks, pausing during a Zoom call from his New York home. “I’m turning into a pumpkin.”

The actor explains that he came up with the phrase for moments like this when the uncontrollable tremors from the degenerative brain disease he was diagnosed with more than 30 years ago reach unacceptable levels.

“When it’s falling apart, it’s like I have two minutes before I become a full-on pumpkin on the side of the road here,” says Fox, 61, whose slight smile never leaves as he takes down a pill with a swig of bottled water. “That’s an expression people around me are very familiar with.”


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