Teen Beach Party aka Back to the Future in the Sand Breaks Records

Teen Beach Party aka Back to the Future in the Sand Breaks Records

Michael J Fox ‘Back’ to Full Time TV

Michael J. Fox at 2011 TV Land Awards.
Michael J. Fox at 2011 TV Land Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s right, Michael J Fox is returning to full time acting after over a decade of doing part-time jaunts on other shows because of his Parkinson’s. He’s going to be doing a show for NBC “based” on his  ‘life’ after being diagnosed with the disease.

Michael has gone on record saying that the new drug regimen that he’s currently on has made it possible for him to return to a full 22 show schedule. This must be a glorious moment for him after finding out that he had the disease in 1991. When he was diagnosed it took him a while to come to grips with his situation and to make it known to the public.

Since that time Fox has been campaigning for more public awareness of the disease and for a cure. He has never given up and only stopped full time acting because of the strain and, as he put it, the unfairness to his co-workers.

Fox could almost be considered a national treasure, if he wasn’t Canadian. But be that as it may, he still qualifies to a huge degree, because dammit the guy is likeable, talented and gutsy, all great qualities of any national treasure. He’s written two books (both dealing with his life and his disease),the first one Oh Lucky Man was a best seller and one of mine and my brother’s favourites.

My brother  took it as a personal affront when Fox made his announcement about Parkinson’s. As he told me, “I grew up watching Michael on TV in Family Ties, I wanted to be Alex and so did a lot of other kids who watched the show. I was so angry when I heard he’d been struck down with this.”

I didn’t fall into that category, I just loved watching him work. Whether is was on the telly or the big screen, he had that combination of talent, comic timing, delivery…Hell, he had the whole shooting match.

Of course my brother and I weren’t his only fans. Fox has won a lot of awards in recognition of his works. Not least of which was the honorary degree of medicine from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute after he started his own organisation to raise funds and awareness about Parkinson’s in 2010.

So welcome back Michael, although you were never really gone, I can’t wait to see how this new ‘comedy’ program about you and your disease will actually do. I’m sure that more than a few folks are wondering how a show about having Parkinson’s can be funny. Well I’ve seen a show that is a comic/tragedy about dying from Cancer, Parkinson’s has definitely got to be a step up from that.

I mean lets face it, when we are faced with anything that falls into the category of ‘life changing’ it has it’s funny moments. When we are experiencing these moments it is important to find the funny side and more importantly to share it.

Fox is doing just that, he is showing us the funny side of the disease and it’s effects (I am really guessing here as the synopsis of the show that NBC have released is quite ambiguous) on the family around him. More importantly, I think, is the ‘reach’ that this program will have on telling the world about Parkinson’s and its need for a cure.

I think the program will be funny but with ‘a sting in the tail’ at the end of each episode. Probably replicating the reality of what Michael himself went through as the disease continued to change his life.

So come on NBC and Michael J Fox, lets be having you!

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Bob Hoskins Another Fallen Idol

Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins (Photo credit: lewishamdreamer)

Some folks may well dispute my referring to Bob Hoskins as an idol. But to me that is exactly what he is. I first saw him work in the brilliant low budget gangster film The Long Good FridayHe mesmerized me as the small time hood with big ambitions,  Harold Shand was going to move up in the world. At the end of the film, Shand’s face is that of a cornered animal who knows that it has been caught and is going to die. Hoskins performance in that film turned me into an instant fan. For life.

By that point in his career Hoskins had already been working steadily for years. Eight to be exact. He was busy learning his craft and it showed. Like another of my favourite actors, Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins was the ‘real deal.’ Although he was born in my neck of the woods in Suffolk, he learned his acting spurs by doing it, not learning it in some classroom.

Mona Lisa was the next thing I saw him shine in. As George  the hapless jailbird who falls in love with the hooker his performance actually made me cry. Moving stuff, especially considering that he’d just finished making me laugh at his performance in Sweet Liberty.

Then adopting an American accent he played  gumshoe Eddie Valiant whose partner was murdered by a ‘toon in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.This role not only saw him win the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor, with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, but also resulted in Bob suffering from a nervous breakdown from exhaustion. The demanding role of Eddie knocked Bob down but not out.

Once again he adopted another American accent to play opposite Cher and Winona Ryder in the popular film Mermaids. Whether Hoskins is making us laugh as Smee in Hook or Neverland or impressing us with his characters ‘hardness’ in Doomsday he never fails to impress. Hoskins is one of those actors that makes you believe that he is the character he”s portraying.

Now after appearing in over 70 films, he’s retiring from the acting world because he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

It is news of the most depressing sort.

He is now a member of that bitterly exclusive club of actors/celebrities who have been stricken by this debilitating disease. His fellow sufferers include Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. Parkinson’s affects some 127,000 people in the UK and has no known cure.

Michael J. Fox has publicly fought for more education about the disease and increased funding for research to find a cure.

Hoskins has released a public statement saying that he intends to spend more time with his family. He will be sadly missed by his fans, but if anyone has earned a right to retire, it’s Mr Hoskins.

Enjoy your rest Bob, and know that we’re hoping that a cure can be found, not only for you but for the rest of the 127,000 sufferers in the UK and the rest of the world as well.

Press advert for Parkinson's Disease Society
Press advert for Parkinson’s Disease Society (Photo credit: HowardLake)