Tracy Pollan & Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan met in 1985 on the set of Family Ties—apt considering their own ties are titanium-strong. Back then we followed every twist of their sweet but tumultuous fictional relationship, then cheered them on when they got married for real just three years later. And when we learned in 1998 that Fox had been privately battling Parkinson’s for years, our hearts went out to them. But they needn’t have—they had each other: “The best thing that ever happened to me was getting married. Tracy and our children put everything in perspective,” Fox has said. What the couple wanted from us was not sympathy, but support in their fight. Fox established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, using every channel available to get his message across. Last year, millions of viewers tuned into his YouTube video in support of five pro-stem-cell-research Democratic Congressional candidates. All the while, Pollan has faithfully stood by her man while creating a stable, un-Hollywood environment in which to raise their four children. It’s not every couple who faces adversity with such grace and aplomb.

You, Again: When Fox and Pollan first met, both  were dating other people. Then, “I was casting a movie in New York, and saw Tracy [who had come in to read for a part],” said Fox. “I  said, ‘How’s so-and-so?’” She said, “We’re not together anymore.” I was like “(a) You have the job and (b) let’s have lunch.”

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.