Michael Jay Fox

Michael Jay Fox

His role as Alex Keaton on Family Ties (1982-1989)

Background:

Hollywood actor Michael J Fox showed his exceptional flair in acting with his
award-winning portrayal of Alex P. Keaton in Gary David Goldberg’s sitcom
“Family Ties” (1982-1989), which garnered him 3 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe
Award and 2 Viewers for Quality Television Awards. The role also brought him an
Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations. While working on the famous series, Fox
took a part as Marty McFly in the renowned franchise of Back to the Future
(1985, won Fox a Saturn Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination), Back to the
Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). The actor once
again proved his wit by starring as Dep. Mayor Michael ‘Mike’ Flaherty in “Spin
City” (1996-2000, also served as executive producer). Thanks to his superb
acting, Fox won an Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors
Guild Awards, as well as received three Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

Off screen, in a 1998 interview, Fox revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson in
1991 and had undergone brain surgery to eliminate tremors. He has tirelessly
fought the disease since then. Fox became a strong advocate of Parkinson’s
research, especially stem cell research, and established the Michael J. Fox
Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000 to advance the effort. In July 2005,
he urged Congress to lift President Bush’s limits on embryonic stem cell
research. Fox, who claimed that his wife helped him survive the battle, was
hailed as an inspiration to fellow sufferers for showing his enjoyment of family
activities despite his illness. Furthermore, in December 2005, the American
Association of Retired Persons honored him for raising more than $76 million
since the launching of his foundation. Fox also wrote a best-selling memoir
titled “Lucky Man,” about his experience of the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

One of the John Willis’ Screen World “12 Promising New Actors of 1985,” Fox
received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. He also has a theatre in
Canada named after him. On a more private note, after having a romantic
relationship with actress Nancy McKeon, Fox married actress Tracy Pollan and if
the father of their four children.


Stupid Youthful Mistake

Childhood and Family:

Son of Bill Fox (Canadian Army sergeant, died of a heart attack in 1990) and
actress Phyllis Fox, Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961,
in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He moved with his three sisters (Kelli, Karen and
Jacki) and his brother Steven to Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, after his
father retired.

Michael, who was too small for his favorite activity, ice hockey, compensated
his disappointment with drama class. He soon developed a fondness for acting and
when his fondness became a passion, dropped out of high school and moved to the
United States with his father. This decision later became his biggest regret and
was referred to as a “stupid youthful mistake.” Later, Michael changed his
middle initial “A” into “J” as homage to character actor Michael J. Pollard, and
to distinguish himself from the late Michael Fox (Canadian actor). He also
wanted to prevent such twisting magazine headlines as “Michael, A Fox.”

On July 17, 1988, Michael married actress Tracy Pollan, his costar in the sitcom
“Family Ties.” The couple has a son named Sam Michael (born in 1989), twin
daughters Schuyler Frances and Aquinnah Kathleen (born in 1995) and daughter
Esme Annabelle (born in November 2001).


Family Ties

Career:

While still in high school, teen Michael J Fox made his first professional
acting performance in an episode of the series “The Magic Lie.” In 1979, he
debuted on TV film with the supporting turn of Ricky in the drama Letters From
Frank. Encouraged by Art Carney, the star of the TV movie, Fox relocated to LA
and gave up his education.

The following year, Fox made his first US debut on the small and large screen.
He took the small role of Thomas Elston in the made-for-TV action drama Trouble
in High Timber Country, starred as Scott in the family comedy movie Midnight
Madness, and had a first regular role of Willy-Joe Hall in the family drama
series “Palmerstown, U.S.A.” It was then followed with several roles, including
the leading part of Jamie in the sitcom “Leo and Me” (1981) and Arthur in Class
of 1984 (1982).

Fox got his first huge boost when he played Alex P. Keaton in the Gary David
Goldberg-created sitcom “Family Ties” (1982-1989). Delivering a witty
performance, he later netted a number of awards, including 3 Emmys, a Golden
Globe and a Viewers for Quality Television for Best Actor, as well as a Viewers
for Quality Television for Best Supporting Actor. For the same role, he also
earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor and three Golden Globe
nominations for Best Actor.

Following his small screen appearances as Jay-Jay Manners in High School U.S.A.
(1983) and the host for The Homemade Comedy Special (1984), he grabbed public
attention by starring as Marty McFly, a teenager involved in time travel, in the
popular sci-fi movie Back to the Future (1985), for director Robert Zemeckis.
For his convincing portrayal, the young actor took home a Saturn for Best Actor
and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Additionally, he became the
recipient of the 1985 NATO for Most Exciting New Star.

The victory was ensued by Fox’ directing work for a short film titled The Iceman
Hummeth, for the special program David Letterman’s 2nd Annual Holiday Film
Festival (1986, TV). As a multi-talented artist, he composed a song titled
“You’ve Got No Place To Go” for the movie Light of Day (1987) and played the
role of Joe Rasnick/The Barbusters. After starring as Jamie Conway in Bright
Lights, Big City (1988), he took parts in the sequels Back to the Future Part II
(1989, played multi-characters Marty McFly/Marty McFly Jr/Marlene McFly) and
Back to the Future Part III (1990, as Marty McFly/Seamus McFly). Taking on
double tasks, Fox helmed and starred as the Prosecutor in an episode of the
fantasy series “Tales from the Crypt,” titled The Trap (1991).

After a two-year break, Fox went back to the screen by voicing the wise Golden
Retriever named Chance in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), and by
undertaking the role of Daniel McTeague in the adaptation of Frank Norris’ novel
Greedy (1994). The versatile performer then tried his hand as a producer in the
comedy Coldblooded (1995, appeared as Tim Alexander) before re-voicing Chance in
the sequel of Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996).

Still in 1996, Fox lifted his name even further by rejoining creator Gary David
Goldberg in his sitcom “Spin City” (1996-2000). Having the lead role of Dep.
Mayor Michael ‘Mike’ Flaherty, the actor also served as the executive producer
and the executive consultant for the series. He soon gained critical acclaim and
won an Emmy, three Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guilds for Best Actor. In
addition, the role brought him three Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Best
Actor. However, Fox later left the sitcom due to his Parkinson disease, and the
leading role was replaced by Charlie Sheen who played Dep. Mayor Charlie
Crawford.

The winner of the 1997 People’s Choice for Favorite Male Performer in a New
Television Series, Fox voiced the main character in the comedy Stuart Little
(1999, re-voiced the title role for the 2002 sequel Stuart Little 2 and the 2005
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild), and Milo James Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost
Empire (2001).

Meanwhile, Fox still continued his production work by executive producing the
1999 TV series “Anna Says,” as well as the TV movies Otherwise Engaged (2002)
and Hench at Home (2003, featured Craig Bierko and Tracy Pollan). Furthermore,
he wrote the script for the latter film, proving his disease could not stop him
from creating.

Returning to acting, the recipient of 2000 Family Television and 2001
Aftonbladet TV Prize, Fox guest starred in two installments of “Scrubs” (2004),
as surgeon Dr. Kevin Casey who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. In a
more recent performance, he made a guest appearance as a business tycoon
suffering from cancer, named Daniel Post, in five episodes of the drama comedy
series “Boston Legal” (2006).


Awards:

Aftonbladet TV Prize (Sweden): Best Foreign TV Personality – Male, 2001
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Spin City,” 2001
Family Television: Actor, 2000
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy
Series, “Spin City,” 2000
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Musical or Comedy Series or
Television Movie, “Spin City,” 1999
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy
Series, “Spin City,” 1999
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Musical or Comedy Series or
Television Movie, “Spin City,” 1998
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Musical or Comedy Series or
Television Movie, “Spin City,” 1997
People’s Choice: Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series,
1997
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Musical or Comedy Series or
Television Movie, “Family Ties,” 1989
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Family Ties,” 1988
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Family Ties,” 1987
Viewers for Quality Television: Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series,
“Family Ties,” 1987
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Family Ties,” 1986
Viewers for Quality Television: Best Supporting Actor in a Quality
Comedy Series, “Family Ties,” 1986
Saturn: Best Actor, Back To The Future, 1986
NATO: Most Exciting New Star, 1985
Control is illusory. No matter what university you go to, no matter what degree you hold, if your goal is to becomes master of your own destiny, you have more to learn.More Michael Jay Fox quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I'm glad I don't have a drinking problem,' I confided, 'because I don't think I'd ever be able to quit.More Michael Jay Fox quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
“[My son] will have a fairly stable future. Not one where the schoolyard talk is whose father grossed $8 million on his last picture.”More Michael Jay Fox quotes [07/03/2006 12:07:00]
Acceptance is the key to everything.More Michael Jay Fox quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I worked very hard on those movies but there was some creative connection that wasn't being made.More Michael Jay Fox quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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