Michael J. Fox Says He's Leaving `Spin City' to Focus on His Battle With Parkinson'sAired January 19, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET
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LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Actor Michael J. Fox says he's leaving his hit television show, "Spin City." His family and his battle with Parkinson's disease are going to take up the top priorities in his life for now.
Mr. Fox made headlines last year when he announced his battle against the debilitating nerve disorder.
CNN's Gloria Hillard with the latest on Michael J. Fox.
MICHAEL J. FOX, ACTOR: I had hidden my symptoms and struggles very well.
GLORIA HILLARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late last year, Michael J. Fox testified before a congressional subcommittee about his battle with Parkinson's disease. On Tuesday, that fight took another turn.
The star of the ABC hit show "Spin City" announced he would be leaving the show after the completion of this season. The 38-year-old actor released this statement: "I feel that right now my time and energy would be better spent with my family and working toward a cure for Parkinson's disease. This does not mean I'm retiring from acting, producing or directing: only that I want to relieve the strain of producing and performing a weekly network series."
ABC acknowledged that the show has been a labor of love for the actor and went on to say: "There are clearly more important things in life, and we with Michael and his family our heartfelt and continued support."
Although the future of the show has not been decided, sources told CNN they hope the show will continue for a fifth season. It was in November of 1998 that the actor announced that he had the debilitating disease that is most often associated with older people. He had been diagnosed seven years earlier while making the film "Doc Hollywood" and has taken medication and undergone surgery to alleviate tremors associated with Parkinson's.
An estimated 1 million Americans have the disease for which there is no known cure, but his celebrity, Fox once said, has given him a special opportunity to help change that.
FOX: The war against Parkinson's is a winnable war, and I have resolved to play a role in that victory.
HILLARD: Gloria Hillard, CNN, Los Angeles.
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