The Keatons made their TV debut in September 1982, and for a total of seven seasons, they entertained us with their opposing generational viewpoints: Parents Steven and Elyse were baby-booming liberals and ex Hippies, while older kids Alex and Mallory embraced the conservative Republican views of the Reagan era.
Here's what the Keaton clan has been up to since the show went off the air in 1989:
Meredith Baxter played the funny, understanding, voice of reason Keaton family matriarch, Elyse. Since 1971 Baxter has been acting on the small screen but her television break came a year later on the CBS sitcom called Bridget Loves Bernie. It was in that series that she met her second husband, actor David Birney, whom she claimed in her 2011 autobiography, Untied, abused her physically and emotionally. Since then her work has run the gamut from sitcoms to made-for-TV movies, but it was her work on Family Ties that Baxter received the most acclaim. In 1999 Baxter was diagnosed with breast cancer, and 10 years after that she announced to Matt Lauer on the Today show that she was a lesbian. Baxter has also starred in the Lifetime movies A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992), A Mother's Fight for Justice (2001) and Becoming Santa (2015).
For seven years Michael Gross played Steven Keaton, a nerdy architect who just couldn’t get his head out of the ‘60s. One of his other recognizable roles was Burt Gummer, a trigger-happy hunter out to defend himself and a small town from strange underground creatures in 1990s Tremors. The cult-classic film subsequently spawned movie sequels and a TV series. Gross has also appeared on episodes of ER, Law and Order, CSI and Parks and Recreation and has done numerous voice-over projects.
Michael J. Fox
While filming Family Ties, Michael J. Fox also became a box office star with movies like the Back to the Future trilogy, Teen Wolf, and Secret of My Success. In the late ‘90s, he starred in another popular sitcom, the politically driven Spin City for four seasons. It was during the end of season four in 2000 that Fox announced he had Parkinson's disease and left the show due to his worsening symptoms. However, he continued working and had cameos on shows like Boston Legal, Rescue Me and The Good Wife.
Justine Bateman played air-headed Mallory Keaton. During and post-Family Ties, Bateman appeared in several TV films but in 1988 jumped onto the big screen as Jennie Lee, the lead singer of an all-girl band alongside Julia Roberts in Satisfaction. In 2006 she made a cameo on Arrested Development and played opposite her real-life younger brother Jason Bateman and has also appeared in Desperate Housewives, Californication and Psych, among other shows. Finding alternative ways to express herself, Bateman launched a fashion line and immersed herself in a variety of digital media projects. She graduated from UCLA with a major in computer science in 2016. She also writes, directs and produces.
Tina Yothers will forever be known as Jen, the sassiest Keaton member who was never afraid to speak her mind. Although her role in Family Ties was her most prominent, she did appear in two memorable made-for-TV films in the early ‘90s, including Laker Girls and the Tonya Harding Story. Yothers has also appeared on some reality shows including Celebrity Fitness Club, Celebrity Wife Swap and What Not to Wear.
Brian Bonsall won three Young Artist Awards for his role as the sprightly Andrew Keaton, the youngest clan member in Family Ties who had to deal with older bro Alex’s attempt at shaping him into a nice little Reagan Republican. After the show ended, Bonsall moved on to other favorable projects including Blank Check and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but after a few more acting gigs, he retired from the industry in 1995. His focus shifted to high school in Colorado, where he eventually became immersed in the punk music scene. Bonsall's had numerous run-ins with the law and substance abuse problems, but is now sober and is concentrating on his music career.