Michael J. Fox
Family Ties. Stardom arrives with Fox’s
role as Alex P. Keaton; he wins three
Emmys, a Golden Globe and numerous
other awards and nominations.
Teen Wolf and Back to the Future.
Fox achieves big-screen success with
two iconic roles.
The Secret of My Succe$s. Plays a naive
kid from Kansas who finds a novel route to
the top of the business world in New York.
to that point was detailed in his first memoir,
Lucky Man (Hyperion, 2002). The title was not
meant as irony. Fox truly means it.
In his new follow-up book, Always Looking Up:
The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, he talks
about what matters the most to him—family, faith,
work and politics. And the hopefulness that envelops every aspect of his life.
“You can make choices in a process like this and
turn in the direction of the condition or disease,” he
observes. “You can give it permission to take over.”
Fox is not giving PD that
Bright Lights, Big City. Stars as a young
writer who plunges into the world
of drugs and alcohol in his quest for
success in New York.
Back to the Future II. The further adventures
of Marty McFly.
Casualties of War. Takes a dramatic turn
as the lead in Brian De Palma’s heavy
Back to the Future III. The two sequels
were actually filmed back to back within
the course of a year.
The Hard Way. Stars as a Hollywood
action film star who gets to ride along with
a real New York City cop for research.
Doc Hollywood. A Hollywood-bound
plastic surgeon finds himself working
in a small-town hospital after causing
a traffic accident.
For Love or Money. Plays a concierge
caught up in a love triangle that
challenges his life goal.
The American President. In a rare
supporting role, plays an aide to
Michael Douglas’ president.
The secret of my
“I always had it,” says the
47-year-old Costco member,
speaking of his optimism in
an interview with The
Connection at his New York
office. “But it was tested at
times. It was tested when I was
diagnosed. It was tested when
I struggled with alcohol.…
Life was so easy for me. I had
this career, this beautiful wife
… it was just a reality check.”
Although PD was the proverbial gray cloud, Fox found
the silver lining.
“What I learned was when
things are bad, it’s an opportunity to look at that. If I care
about the experiences I have,
the quality of life is going to be better.
“Having a sense of humor is absolutely crucial,” he advises. “It’s a companion to humility.
You have to kind of acknowledge that you’re the
speck on an elephant’s butt.”
The humor and humility are intact, but, truth be
told, Fox is more like the entire elephant. Short in
stature, he towers over everyone else in presence and
that eternal optimism.
Despite the wear on his body from PD, he has
managed to keep his boyish look. Yet he speaks
with the wisdom of a man twice his age.
“Optimism doesn’t mean you get to skip the
bad stuff,” he cautions. “If you’re truly optimistic
or have a capacity to hope, it should allow you to
look at what’s bad and really get its measure, and
say, What is the extent of this? It’s the courage to
look at something and say, However bad this is, it
isn’t bad infinitely.”
PHOTOS: EVERET T COLLEC TION
22 The Costco Connection APRIL 2009
Spin City. Wins three Golden Globes,
an Emmy and numerous award
nominations for his role as New York
Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty.
Gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Growing up near Vancouver, British Columbia,
Fox was less than motivated in high school but
found excitement in acting. Early success on
Canadian television and in a popular play convinced him the vocation was right for him, more
so than drama class.
“There was no allowance at the school,” he
recalls. “I was in a big hit show at night, and my
first-period class in the morning was drama and I