Fantastic Mr. Fox
"Happiness is a decision," says Michael J. Fox. And the actor formerly known as Alex P. Keaton has stuck to that decision ever since he recovered from the shock of learning—25 years ago, in 1992—that he had early-onset Parkinson's disease. Here, to celebrate his 56th birthday, are 20 quotes that reflect Fox's views on life, family and the power of a positive outlook.
"Life delivered me a catastrophe, but I found a richness of soul."
"Optimism is a cure for many things."
"I've never gotten up to see something one of my kids wanted to show me and not been rewarded."
"When I was younger, I was always described as happy-go-lucky."
"Before Tracy and I started seeing each other, I was this boy prince of Hollywood. I had a Mercedes and a Ferrari and a Range Rover, and I was really nuts."
"Everybody in the world knew who I was before I knew who I was."
On tying the knot with Tracy Pollan in 1988:
"When we married, we married—and that was it. We were in love then, as we are now, and we planned to stay married."
"You've probably read in People that I'm a nice guy—but when the doctor first told me I had Parkinson's, I wanted to kill him."
"My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations."
"I mean, I enjoy my work as an actor. But to make a difference in people's lives through advocacy and through supporting research—that's the kind of privilege that few people will get, and it's certainly bigger than being on TV every Thursday for half an hour."
"Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it."
"What other people think about me is not my business."
"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
"One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered."
"Certainly people have a lot tougher situations than I've had to deal with. But I will say we are all dying from the moment we are born. This is not just rehearsal."
"I can get sad, I can get frustrated, I can get scared, but I never get depressed—because there's joy in my life."
"The oldest form of theater is the dinner table. It's got five or six people, new show every night, same players. Good ensemble; the people have worked together a lot."
"If I don't get food in my mouth, I'm still happy. If my pants are around my ankles, as long as I don't get arrested for indecent exposure, I'm happy. I'm worried about keeping my hair, not how it's combed."
Fox's "two feelings" about his wife:
"One is that she becomes more beautiful every second; and more important, I look at her and say to myself, 'Damn, you're smart. Boy, did you make the right choice.'"
"Family is not an important thing. It's everything."
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