MICHAEL J. FOX’s pals terrified that his ambitious plan to launch a TV comeback could kill him.
Despite battling Parkinson’s disease, the Emmy-winning actor – who starred in “Family Ties” in the ’80s and “Spin City” in the ’90s – is making one last stab at sitcom gold so that his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, and their four children will never have to worry about money again.
“God bless, Michael,” a source close to the 51-year-old actor told The ENQUIRER. “He’s wanted to get back on his own show for awhile now.
“But everyone – including Tracy – is worried sick that it’s just too much for him to handle.”
Michael’s plan would be to act in and co-produce the show, which would be loosely based on his life – and that could mean 12- to 14-hour workdays while the series is in production, says the source.
“That kind of pace would exhaust anyone, much less someone who is suffering from Parkinson’s.”
Michael was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder in 1991, at the age of 30. He managed to keep his condition a secret until 1998 – even as he starred on “Spin City.” In early 2000, he announced he would leave the series and focus on finding a cure for the disease.
But earlier this year, the actor told a reporter that a new combination of drugs was helping to control the facial tics and swaying caused by his illness.
“He’s convinced he can do a sitcom now because of the medications he’s been taking,” said the source.
“Many of the characters he’s played in recent years also suffer from the effects of Parkinson’s, so he’s been able to incorporate that into his work.
“It’s unclear at this point whether he’ll be able to do that in this new show.”
Over the past 10 years, Michael has made guest appearances on such shows as “Rescue Me,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and, most recently, “The Good Wife.” But he’s been anxious to get back on his own series, and sources say a bidding war has already begun between all four of the major broadcast networks for the project.
“Michael is determined to leave Tracy and his kids as well off as possible because eventually the day is going to come when he can no longer act,” the source added.
“Despite his disease, Michael is still a force to be reckoned with – and telling him he can’t do something just makes him want to do it more.”