Approximately 35 years ago, when Tracy Pollan pledged to stand by Michael J. Fox “for better or for worse and in sickness and in health,” she meant every word.
Only three years into their marriage, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but Pollan remained steadfast, anticipating the challenges ahead.
While Fox gained fame for his role as Alex P. Keaton in the TV series Family Ties (1982 to 1989), his career trajectory shifted when he met Pollan, who played his on-screen girlfriend Ellen Reed. They married in 1988, just as Fox transitioned into a film star with the Back to the Future trilogy.
In 1991, the same year he starred in Doc Holiday, Fox, then 29, received a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Reflecting on his journey during the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award acceptance in November 2022, Fox shared the emotional toll of the diagnosis and the uncertainty surrounding it.
With a supportive wife and children, Fox faced the challenge head-on. In March 2023, he and Pollan spoke with People about their enduring support and the importance of listening to each other’s needs.
Fox expressed gratitude for Pollan’s unwavering commitment over 35 years, acknowledging her role in the family’s well-being.
During a CBS Mornings interview in early November 2023, Fox highlighted Pollan’s remarkable support. Despite the uncertainties of his future, Fox praised Pollan’s adherence to their wedding vows, emphasizing her strength throughout the journey.
Acknowledging the potential strain on their relationship, Fox admitted he would have understood if Pollan chose to leave after his diagnosis, but her commitment and steadfastness became evident.
In demonstrating her dedication to their vows, Pollan chose to stand by her husband through every challenge, reinforcing their enduring bond.