Michael J. Fox Returns To TV On ‘Rescue Me’

by | April 7, 2009 at 12:51 PM | TV News

Michael J. Fox helps pal Denis Leary kick off the new season of ‘Rescue Me,” starting tonight on FX at 10 pm. Fox plays a paraplegic and will appear in five episodes of the gritty show.

“It’s a measure of how screwed up they are that they would hire me to play a paralyzed guy,” Fox told USA Today. “I’m the opposite of a paralyzed guy. One of the reasons I don’t act that much now is that my first job is to act like I’m not dealing with the things I’m dealing with.”

Watch Fox on ‘The Daily Show’.

Fox’s latest TV acting jobs have been guest appearances on ‘Boston Legal’ and ‘Scrubs.’ He recently published his second book, ‘Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

In fact, he was just finishing the book when Leary offered him the job. He snatched the offer, saying, “‘That’s exactly what I need to do.”

See more Michael J. Fox photos.

It’s been 10 years since Fox left ‘Spin City.’ His other hit series, ‘Family Ties,’ which made him a household favorite, ended in 1989. He recently told Diane Sawyer on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America‘ that he’ll occasionally watch a few minutes of those shows if he sees them on TV.

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“[But] there’s no longing in it. There’s no… this deep feeling of loss or anything,” he said. “It’s just like, acknowledgement that that was part of what brought me to where I am now, and it was pretty fun.”

Fox has been battling Parkinson’s disease publicly since 1999; longer than that in private. He struggled with everyday tasks, even something as simple as brushing his teeth. It’s “like having an electric toothbrush without the battery,” he explained

Watch more full episodes of ‘Family Ties.’

However, Parkinson’s has not robbed Fox of either his humor or passion for life. He’s been married to actress Tracy Pollan for 20 years. Their secret? “Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty,” he said “And … just, have fun.”

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As for ‘Rescue Me,’ reviewers are united in their praise about the direction Denis Leary’s gritty drama takes following a 19-month absence.

The Boston Globe‘s Matthew Gilbert cited the show’s “kooky psychological wisdom, its raw gender-obsessed humor, and its anarchic New York spirit.” The Hollywood Reporter, despite knocking the show’s rapidly changing scenes, said “the show’s mix of redemption and ruin that genuinely sets it apart from the pack.” And USA Today chimed the series “is off to a heroic start.”

Watch more ‘Rescue Me’ previews.