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Michael J. Fox appears as Mike Henry on The Michael J. Fox Show in Sept. 2013. - Provided courtesy of Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Michael J. Fox talks 'drinking heavily' after Parkinson's diagnosis

09/26/2013 by Kristina Lopez

Michael J. Fox was candid in an interview with Howard Stern about how he learned to cope with his Parkinson's diagnosis.

Fox appeared on "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius XM satellite radio on Wednesday, Sept. 25, to promote his new NBC comedy series "The Michael J. Fox Show," which debuts on Thursday, Sept. 26.

In the show, Fox plays a New York City newscaster who had quit his job because of Parkinson's disease. His character returns to work in the show's first episode because a new medical regimen has helped him control many of the disease's symptoms.

The 52-year-old actor was initially diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. Fox announced publicly he was battling the disease in 1999. He left his role on "Spin City" in 2000. The actor said he went through a dark time after receiving his diagnosis.

"My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily," he told Stern. "I used to drink to party, but now I was drinking alone just drinking to just not ... everyday."

"Then it was about a year of like a knife fight in a closet, where I just didn't have my tools to deal with it," Fox added. "After that, I went to therapy and it all started to get really clear to me."

The actor said he then started going to therapy "and it all started to get really clear to me."

"And then things started to turn the other way," Fox said. "My marriage got great."

Fox also talked about replacing Eric Stoltz in "Back to the Future." Stoltz had originally been cast as Marty McFly, but was replaced by Fox after five weeks of shooting.

Fox called Stoltz a "great actor" and explained, "I just don't think he was cheap and goofy enough."

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