Tracy Pollan

Biography: It will be one of the greatest unfairnesses of television celebrity history when Tracy Jo Pollan is remembered simply as the wife of an actor who had Parkinson's Disease. Indeed, she is that, and as the condition of her husband, Michael J. Fox, progresses, it will likely consume her life more and more. But her experience with Fox exposes Pollan to be a tremendous personality in her own right. Those who doubt need look no further than the title of her husband's autobiography. Because of Pollan's unwaivering support, Fox - Parkinsons and all - titles himself a Lucky Man.

Fox has taken plenty of grief from the Parkinsons support community for calling his condition a "gift," as in "the gift that keeps on taking." But the average Parkinsons patient likely lacks the support and strength behind him that Pollan provides to Fox. Fox contemplates his life in it's entirety, and concludes "Damn, I was smart [to have chosen Tracy]. Damn, I am lucky." It becomes evident that
It will be one of the greatest unfairnesses of television celebrity history when Tracy Jo Pollan is remembered simply as the wife of an actor who had Parkinson's Disease. Indeed, she is that, and as the condition of her husband, Michael J. Fox, progresses, it will likely consume her life more and more. But her experience with Fox exposes Pollan to be a tremendous personality in her own right. Those who doubt need look no further than the title of her husband's autobiography. Because of Pollan's unwaivering support, Fox - Parkinsons and all - titles himself a Lucky Man.

Fox has taken plenty of grief from the Parkinsons support community for calling his condition a "gift," as in "the gift that keeps on taking." But the average Parkinsons patient likely lacks the support and strength behind him that Pollan provides to Fox. Fox contemplates his life in it's entirety, and concludes "Damn, I was smart [to have chosen Tracy]. Damn, I am lucky." It becomes evident that Pollan was destined to make her mark somewhere. And she selected standing by one of the great TV personalities, as he faces a monster struggle in his life, to make that mark.

She was born Tracy Jo Pollan on June 22, 1960 on Long Island, New York. Not much is known about her father Stephen, except for his Jewish heritage. Her mother Corky was a writer for New York Magazine, and later for Gourmet. Pollan was one of four kids: herself, two sisters and a brother Michael. She attended New York schools, and later studied at H B Studio and the Lee Strasberg Institute, both in New York City. Somewhere along the line, she learned how to play the piano.

Pollan's debut in acting came in 1980, where she appeared in Joan Micklin Silver's Album, which also starred Kevin Bacon. Presumably from that meeting, a dating relationship between Pollan and Bacon began, one that extended into her career at Family Ties. She did a few commercials, and played Leslie, a college girl, in her first movie, Baby, It's You, 1983.

She took on about seven TV roles prior to her becoming Ellen Reed, the girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton, a role she played for two years. Pollan left Family Ties to pursue other acting roles, and Fox knew she wasn't planning on returning. Her parting gift to Fox was a piano rendition of James Taylor's That's Why I'm Here.

In 1987/88, Pollan and Fox crossed paths once more in Bright Lights, Big City, where Pollan played Vicky, and Fox starred as Jamie Conway. As they re-met, Fox asked how "so and so" [likely Bacon] was doing. When Pollan confessed they weren't together any more, Fox declared, "A. you got the job, and B. Let's have dinner." They married a year later on July 16, 1988. And their first son, Samuel Michael was born a little more than a year after that.

Pollan's biggest role acting since then was the role of Kathleen Kennedy in the three-part television miniseries, The Kennedys of Massachusetts. Later, in 1999, she tried her hand at producing, playing the title role of Anna Says.

Though Fox' Parkinsons condition was kept a secret for seven years after diagnosis, Pollan surely knew that she would effectively raise her next child alone, notwithstanding Fox' physical presence - twin girls Schuyler and Aquinnah, who were born in 1995 - four years after the diagnosis. In Spin City, she played Renee Miller in a Fox farewell episode It Happened One Night. And again in 2001, Fox and Pollan had a fourth child, Esme Annabelle.

Today, she spends very little time acting - her last appearance was in 2003, First to Die - and more time working behind Fox in his campaigns to raise the awareness of Parkinsons issues. She serves on the Board of Directors for Fox' Foundation for Parkinsons Research. Fox may never have asked her out loud, "Did you buy into this [when you married me]?" For he faces the same self-doubts that anyone whose life is impaired may face. But surely she is behind him for the long haul. "It never had anything to do with him being sick. Any of the time that I would say, 'Hey, wait a second! This isn't what I bought into!' it was more his doubting, and the behavior that came out of those fears, rather than him being sick."
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Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Family Ties: Season 5 Sep 25, 1986 Ellen Reed tbd
tbd Family Ties: Season 4 Sep 26, 1985 Ellen Reed tbd