The '80s are synonymous with Michael J. Fox: He starred on one of the decade's top sitcoms and, simultaneously, played lead in one of the most popular films of the decade. Michael Andrew Fox was born on June 9, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He adopted the 'J' because another actor had already registered with the Screen Actors Guild as 'Michael Fox,' and he didn't like the sound of his middle name. He began his acting career at a young age, appearing on a number of Canadian television shows. His first big screen appearance was in the caper comedy Midnight Madness in 1980. In 1982, Michael landed the role of 'Alex P. Keaton,' the young Republican son of former hippies on the long-running NBC sitcom Family Ties. The show ran for seven seasons and, along the way, Michael picked up three Emmys and a Golden Globe award for his work.
The actor increased his notoriety while on the sitcom when he took the role of time traveling 'Marty McFly' in the runaway hit Back to the Future in 1985. He also made the cult film Teen Wolf and the comedy The Secret of My Success during the show's run. In 1988, he married Tracy Pollan, who played his girlfriend on Family Ties and later worked with him in Bright Lights, Big City. The couple have defied the odds and are still married with four kids. Michael's first post-Ties role was in the Vietnam-era drama Casualties of War, co-starring Sean Penn, which proved he was able to handle dramatic parts as deftly as he could with comedy. He went on to film back-to-back sequels of Back to the Future and continued to entertain movie audiences in the '90s with Doc Hollywood, The American President and Mars Attacks!
In 1996, Michael made a triumphant return to network TV on the ABC sitcom Spin City, playing the deputy mayor of New York. He stayed with the show for four seasons, and was replaced by Charlie Sheen. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1991, Michael went public with the news in 1998 and, since then, has been a prominent spokesperson and advocate for Parkinson's research. He has all but retired from acting, but has made guest appearances on Scrubs and Boston Legal. Even though he's gone from our televisions screens, Michael will live on forever in fans' hearts.
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