Michael J. Fox has been bravely battling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease for years, and now, his rep told PEOPLE, he “recently underwent spinal surgery unrelated to his Parkinson’s.”
The beloved Family Ties and Back to the Future star, 56, however, is doing well.
His spokesperson Leslie Sloane said, “He is recovering, feeling great, and looking forward to getting back on the golf course this summer.”
Fans were surprised when Fox cancelled an appearance at the upcoming Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in Canada scheduled for April 26 to 29—now the move is understandable.
Fox has battled Parkinson’s disease since 1991 and kept his diagnosis a secret at first. However, in 1998, the actor announced that he had the disorder that causes uncontrollable tremors throughout his body.
But you can’t keep a TV icon down and Fox recently joined the cast of Designated Survivor, the political drama starring Kiefer Sutherland and Maggie Q.
Fans also were delighted to see him on The Good Wife from 2010 until 2016 and in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Against all odds, the determined actor has been able to continue working in Hollywood, as he has since he was a kid.
Last year, funnyman Fox, who raises four kids with wife of 30 years Tracy Pollan, told AARP The Magazine, “…on most days, there comes a point where I literally can’t stop laughing at my own symptoms.”
He explained in the interview, “Just the other morning I come into the kitchen. I pour a cup — a little trouble there. Then I put both hands around the cup. [Tracy’s] watching. ‘Can I get that for you, dear?’ ‘Nah, I got it!’ Then I begin this trek across the kitchen. It starts off bad. Only gets worse. Hot java’s sloshing onto my hands, onto the floor.”
Fox isn’t the only celebrity to suffer from Parkinson’s. Singer Linda Ronstadt announced her diagnosis several years ago and “Sweet Caroline” legend Neil Diamond told fans earlier this year that he would no longer perform in concert because of his Parkinson’s disease.
Fox has told PEOPLE he loves spreading awareness about Parkinson’s: “I’m so blessed with a great family, and I’ve had success in my career. I feel this is a really unique opportunity for me to help out and try to effect change.”
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