Michael J. Fox 'stunned' to learn Robin Williams had Parkinson's

Image: Michael J. Fox Theo Wargo / Getty Images file
Michael J. Fox called Robin Williams "a true friend."

Actor Michael J. Fox, who has battled Parkinson's disease since the early 1990s, said on Twitter Thursday that he was "stunned" to learn that Robin Williams was struggling with the early stages of the illness.

Fox was reacting to a statement from Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, in which she wrote, "Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly."

Fox, like many fans and fellow stars, had shared his appreciation for Williams in an earlier Twitter post after the comic actor was found to have committed suicide on Monday at age 63.

Fox, 53, rose to fame on the 1980s television series "Family Ties" and in films such as "Back to the Future" and "Teen Wolf." He was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991 and did not disclose his condition for seven years, according to his foundation website. Since then, Fox has been a strong advocate for research aimed at finding a cure.

  • Slideshow Photos

    ©Paramount Television/Courtesy

    MORK & MINDY, Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, 1978-82, © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collec

    Robin Williams, 1951-2014

    "Na-nu Na-nu" and "O Captain, my Captain": Robin Williams will best be remembered by the characters he played and lines he delivered.

  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    "Mork and Mindy" -

    "I am Mork from Ork, na-nu na-nu." Robin Williams' breakout role was as happy alien Mork on the TV show "Mork and Mindy," a spin-off of "Happy Days." He played Mork, and is seen sitting on set here in April 1978.

    ABC via AP
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    Forever a funnyman -

    Williams' Mork and Pam Dawber's Mindy were one of the most unlikely super-couples of the 1970s. They even eventually had a child, Mearth -- hatched from an egg laid by Mork and played by veteran funnyman Jonathan Winters.

    ©Paramount Television/Courtesy / ©Paramount Television/Courtesy
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    "Dead Poets Society" -

    In "Dead Poets Society," Williams played English teacher John Keating, who dared his class to take risks and break out of the molds their families may have put them in. He encouraged his students to call him "O Captain! My Captain!"

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    "Mrs. Doubtfire" -

    Robin Williams played the title role in "Mrs. Doubtfire." In a TODAY interview at the time, Robin Williams told Gene Shalit that creating his character had a lot to do with the makeup he wore. In April 2014, there were reports that Williams would reprise his role in a sequel.

    20th Century-Fox via Getty Images
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    "Good Will Hunting" -

    Williams, right, next to Matt Damon, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for his role in "Good Will Hunting."

    Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection
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    "Jumanji" -

    In the 1995 fantasy-adventure film "Jumanji," Williams is chased by a lion, fights off giant spiders and is sucked into quicksand-like floorboards.

    Getty Images
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    "Night at the Museum" -

    Williams played President Teddy Roosevelt in the "Night at the Museum" trilogy. He finished shooting the third film, "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" earlier this year. It's set to be released Dec. 19.

    Doane Gregory / Twentieth Century Fox via AP
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    'Flubber' -

    In 1997's "Flubber," a remake of the 1961 Disney comedy "The Absent-Minded Professor," Williams played a professor with an ingenious, if trouble-prone, invention.

    Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
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    'Hook' -

    In the 1991 Steven Spielberg movie "Hook," Williams played a lawyer who must reclaim his past as Peter Pan, with Dustin Hoffman as the menacing Captain Hook.

    TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    'One Hour Photo' -

    "One Hour Photo" may have been Williams' most surprising film. In the 2002 psychological thriller, the usually affable Williams portrays a disturbed photo clerk with a creepy secret.

    20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection
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    'Aladdin' -

    "Aladdin" was the title character, but it was Williams' comic Genie who stole the show in the 1992 Disney film.

    Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Robin Williams, 1951-2014

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    'Good Morning Vietnam' -

    The DJ Williams played in 1987's "Good Morning Vietnam" was based on a real Vietnam War soldier, but much of Williams' radio banter in the film was improvised by the actor himself.

    Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
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    'The Crazy Ones' -

    Williams starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar on the sitcom "The Crazy Ones," which ran from 2013-2014 before being canceled. Williams played an eccentric ad executive and Gellar his daughter.

    Richard Cartwright / AP
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    'Popeye' -

    Williams was strong to the finish, 'cause he eats his spinach, when he played the iconic comic-strip tough-guy in the 1980 big-screen version of "Popeye."

    Anonymous / AP

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