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Michael J Fox sat with Princess Diana at Back to the Future premiere

Michael J. Fox has reminisced on a close encounter with the late Princess of Wales.

The 59-year-old actor appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday and recalled sitting next to Diana at the premiere of Back to the Future in 1985.

‘She was sitting next to me. The lights go down and the movie starts and I realize I am one fake yawn and an arm stretch away from being on a date with her, which is hilarious,’ recalled the Family Ties heartthrob. 

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Memories: Michael J. Fox, 59, reminisced on a close encounter with the late Princess of Wales during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

‘The movie started and also I had to go pee,’ continued the Canadian star. 

‘And so for the rest of the movie, I’m sitting there, like, dying. I can’t say anything to her and I can’t walk away from her because I can’t turn my back on her. So it was just agony.’

He concluded the night ‘could have been the greatest night of my life but it was just a nightmare. A pee-holding nightmare.’ 

He added that Diana was ‘sweet’ and even laughed a couple of times during the sci-fi comedy hit that made him a household name.

The Princess of Wales, born Diana Frances Spencer, passed away in 1997. 

Time traveler: The Family Ties star [pictured in 1985] recalled sitting next to Diana at the premiere of Back to the Future in 1985

The late Princess of Wales seen here at the 1985 London premiere

Time traveler: The Family Ties star [R] recalled sitting next to Diana [L] at the premiere of Back to the Future in 1985 [both seen here at the event]

A royal welcome: He added that Diana was 'sweet' and even laughed a couple of times during the sci-fi comedy hit that made him a household name

A royal welcome: He added that Diana was ‘sweet’ and even laughed a couple of times during the sci-fi comedy hit that made him a household name

In another recent interview, Fox revealed he kept his Parkinson’s disease a secret for seven years as he feared he wouldn’t be able to make his fans laugh again.

During a virtual interview on Thursday’s BBC Breakfast, the actor said he was surprised when he was met with a ‘receptive and supportive’ response from audiences after he publicly disclosed his health battle in 1998.

The star, who was diagnosed with the condition in 1991 at the age of 29, also shed light on his foundation, which was created to help find a cure through research. 

'It was a strange period': Fox revealed he kept his Parkinson's a secret as he feared he wouldn't be able to make his fans laugh again on Thursday's BBC Breakfast

‘It was a strange period’: Fox revealed he kept his Parkinson’s a secret as he feared he wouldn’t be able to make his fans laugh again on Thursday’s BBC Breakfast

Explaining his initial worries about sharing the details about his disease, the comedian said: ‘My fear was that if they knew that I had an illness, a condition, that they wouldn’t be able to laugh.’

The screen star went on to highlight the positive reaction he received from his fan base as he added: ‘You know it was a really strange period of time because over a period of seven years that I kept it to myself. 

‘When I opened up to people about it, they were incredibly receptive, incredibly supportive and the audience did continue to laugh and continue to watch my work.’

'They did laugh': The actor was surprised when he was supported after publicly disclosing his health battle in 1998 (pictured with Meredith Baxter Birney in Family Ties in 1985)

‘They did laugh’: The actor was surprised when he was supported after publicly disclosing his health battle in 1998 (pictured with Meredith Baxter Birney in Family Ties in 1985)

'It's been amazing': The screen star, who was diagnosed with the condition in 1991 at the age of 29, also shed light on his foundation, which was created to help find a cure through research

‘It’s been amazing’: The screen star, who was diagnosed with the condition in 1991 at the age of 29, also shed light on his foundation, which was created to help find a cure through research

'We understand more than we're getting': The Back To The Future actor spoke about how he teamed up with scientists to fund research in the fight against the incurable health issue

‘We understand more than we’re getting’: The Back To The Future actor spoke about how he teamed up with scientists to fund research in the fight against the incurable health issue

The media personality later spoke about how he teamed up with scientists to fund research in the fight against the incurable health issue. 

Michael said: ‘Then this whole opportunity opened up, I started talking to scientists and they started telling me the science is ahead of the money. We know more than we can pay for. We understand more than we’re getting.

‘And I thought well, I can do that, I had some rich friends and then I had some friends out in the public that who would like to find an answer to this problem that so many people that they love and know suffer from and so we set up a foundation and that’s been an amazing thing.’

Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, and around 127,000 people in the UK live with the condition. 

WHAT IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE? 

Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, and around 127,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

Figures also suggest one million Americans also suffer.

It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.

It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.

Sufferers are known to have diminished supplies of dopamine because nerve cells that make it have died.

There is currently no cure and no way of stopping the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try and change that.  

 

Earlier this month, the TV and film star recalled the advice his late father-in-law Stephen M. Pollan gave him amid his darkest moments.

The retired film producer, who appeared on ABC News to promote his new book No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, detailed the key wisdom he relied on to push through the painful period.

Michael said: ‘He would always say, ”no matter what was going on, it gets better, kiddo. It gets better. The last thing you run out of is the future.”

'He lived with gratitude': Earlier this month, the TV and film star recalled the advice his late father-in-law Stephen M. Pollan gave him (pictured with wife Tracy in 2019)

‘He lived with gratitude’: Earlier this month, the TV and film star recalled the advice his late father-in-law Stephen M. Pollan gave him (pictured with wife Tracy in 2019)

‘He lived every day with gratitude and I realized, if there’s gratitude, then you have sustained optimism.’

The author also reflected on suffering from a spinal tumor and a subsequent broken arm two years ago as he said: ‘Everyone’s taking an abundance of caution with me and warned me to be careful. 

‘I have to think before I walk; I can’t just get up and go because I don’t have much control of my momentum and control of my direction.’ 

Michael and his wife Tracy Pollan wed in 1988 and are parents to four adult children: Sam, 31, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 25, and Esme, 19.

'I have to think before I walk': The author also reflected on suffering from a spinal tumor and a subsequent broken arm two years ago (pictured in 2018)

‘I have to think before I walk’: The author also reflected on suffering from a spinal tumor and a subsequent broken arm two years ago (pictured in 2018)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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