Best Known For
Michael J. Fox first achieved stardom as Alex P. Keaton on the popular sitcom Family Ties and went on to have great success as a film and television actor, appearing in such films as Back to the Future and Teen Wolf, and on TV series like Spin City.
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Born in Canada in 1961, actor Michael J. Fox first became known for his role as Alex P. Keaton on the popular sitcom Family Ties, and went on to star in such films as Back to the Future and Teen Wolf, as well as on the TV series Spin City. In 1999, Fox announced that he was battling Parkinson's disease. He left Spin City in 2000 to launch the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and focus on family,
"I think the scariest person in the world is the person with no sense of humor."
"My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations."
"Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it."
"Parkinson's has made me a better person—a better husband, father and overall human being."
later guest-starring on such shows as Scrubs and Boston Legal.
Famed actor Michael J. Fox, who first achieved stardom in 1982 as the acquisitive Reagan-era poster-boy Alex P. Keaton on the popular television sitcom Family Ties, was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fox began using the middle initial "J" professionally because he wanted to distinguish himself from another actor named Michael Fox, and didn't like the play on words that "Michael A. Fox" lent itself to; his stage name is also reportedly a tribute to American actor Michael J. Pollard.
Hailing from Canada, where he grew up the youngest of five children to Bill and Phyllis Fox, Fox struggled in school and was too small—he's 5'4"—to compete in his favorite activity, ice hockey. He found an outlet in drama class, and in 1976, at the age of 15, made his professional debut on the CBS series Leo and Me; he played a 10-year-old on the show. After starring in the CBS movie Letters from Frank (also filmed in Canada), Fox dropped out of high school and drove to Los Angeles, California, with his father. There, he landed a role on the series Palmerstown, U.S.A. before being cast as Alex Keaton on Family Ties (1982-1989), where he would woo audiences with his confident charm and impeccable comedic timing for the next seven years.
Michael J. Fox also met with enormous success on the big screen, most notably playing Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis's zany romp Back to the Future (1985). After playing comic roles in Teen Wolf (1985) and The Secret of My Success (1987), Fox, wanting to broaden his range, took some unlikely dramatic turns: He played a factory worker in Light of Day (1987), a cocaine-snorting fact checker in Bright Lights, Big City (1988), and earned critical acclaim for his starring role alongside Sean Penn in Brian DePalma's Vietnam saga Casualties of War (1989).
Audiences applauded Fox's return to Back to the Future, for the second and third installments of the film series, released in 1989 and 1990, respectively. His pitch-perfect portrayal of a George Stephanopoulos-type character in The American President (1995) also earned Fox accolades, but it was his ceremonious return to primetime TV with a role on the ABC sitcom Spin City, launched in 1996, that put Fox back where he belonged: delighting audiences on a weekly basis with a schedule that allowed him more time with his family.
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