Michael J. Fox Says Parkinson’s Disease ‘Is Banging on the Door’: ‘I’m Not Gonna Be 80’ (Video)

The 61-year-old actor discusses facing his own mortality in a new interview with Jane Pauley

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox (CBS News)

Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 29, told Jane Pauley that life with the degenerative ailment is “getting harder” and that he doesn’t think he will live to be 80 years old.

In the interview, which airs Sunday, April 30 at 9 a.m. ET on CBS, the 61-year-old star of “Back to the Future” and “Spin City” told Pauley that Parkinson’s is “banging on the door.” He added, “I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher. But, that’s the way it is. I mean, you know, who do I see about that?”

Ahead of the May 12 debut of the documentary “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” on Apple TV+, he detailed some of the more serious complications of the incurable disease, including injuries from falling: “I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine. And it was benign, but it messed up my walking. And then, [I] started to break stuff. Broke this arm, and I broke this arm, I broke this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand.”

Fox added, “[That’s] a big killer with Parkinson’s. It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that get ya … You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it … I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.”

The actor founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2002 to fund research and develop improved therapies for people with Parkinson’s.

Watch a video preview of the interview below.

CBS Sunday Morning airs Sundays (9:00-10:30 a.m., ET) on CBS and streams on Paramount+. “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” premieres on Apple TV+ on May 12.