Actor Michael J. Fox isn't holding back in speaking about living with Parkinson's disease, saying that although it "sucks," pity for it is "a benign form of abuse."
The "Back to the Future" star made the comments while discussing his health condition Tuesday at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
"Parkinson's sucks — but it's a great life," Fox, 61, said while sitting on stage next to Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim to promote their new documentary, "Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie," according to the New York Post.
"I have no regrets," Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991, continued. "You do what you have to do, but you do not want to kill yourself. And that's when I stopped."
When asked during a Q&A session for the film how he "mobilized" people to have awareness of Parkinson's disease, Fox said he simply "didn't have a choice."
"This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it's not lip service. I show up and do the best I can," he said. "Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don't have time for that."
In November, Fox received an honorary Oscar for advocacy work that has raised $1.5 billion for research into Parkinson's disease. After his diagnosis, he curtailed his career to focus on establishing the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000.
"Fox's tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson's disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions," Academy President David Rubin said in a statement, according to CNN.
Fox only revealed he had Parkinson's several years after his diagnosis. He retired from "Spin City" in January 2000, but in 2013 he returned to primetime network TV as Mike Henry on NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show," according to his official biography.
He went on to make several TV guest appearances, but later semi-retired from acting as his symptoms worsened.
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