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Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox

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Also Known As: Michael J Fox, Michael Andrew Fox Died:
Born: June 9, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Edmonton, Alberta, CA Profession: actor, director, guitar player

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

the need to further research, and allowed his symptoms to be clearly visible in public appearances in order to put a human face on a mysterious disease which could make certain people uncomfortable.Fox returned to the big screen in 1999, providing the gleefully boyish vocals of beloved mouse "Stuart Little" (1999). While purists may have objected to the changes in the E. B. White story, family audiences embraced the little white mouse and turned the film into a surprise box office hit. The following year, Fox bid farewell to "Spin City" to focus on his health and advocacy efforts, though he remained a consultant to the show and returned frequently as a guest star to visit his successor and real-life friend Charlie Sheen. Fox regularly appeared in voice form in theatrical animated releases, starring as the lead character in Disney's "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001), a not-so-successful attempt to graft a teen boy to the classic Disney animated formula. He revisited Stuart Little in the equally charming 2002 sequel, "Stuart Little 2." He played a seemingly perfect doctor who threatens the staff in a few episodes of the NBC sitcom "Scrubs" (2001-09) in 2004, a series created by "Spin City's" Bill...

the need to further research, and allowed his symptoms to be clearly visible in public appearances in order to put a human face on a mysterious disease which could make certain people uncomfortable.

Fox returned to the big screen in 1999, providing the gleefully boyish vocals of beloved mouse "Stuart Little" (1999). While purists may have objected to the changes in the E. B. White story, family audiences embraced the little white mouse and turned the film into a surprise box office hit. The following year, Fox bid farewell to "Spin City" to focus on his health and advocacy efforts, though he remained a consultant to the show and returned frequently as a guest star to visit his successor and real-life friend Charlie Sheen. Fox regularly appeared in voice form in theatrical animated releases, starring as the lead character in Disney's "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001), a not-so-successful attempt to graft a teen boy to the classic Disney animated formula. He revisited Stuart Little in the equally charming 2002 sequel, "Stuart Little 2." He played a seemingly perfect doctor who threatens the staff in a few episodes of the NBC sitcom "Scrubs" (2001-09) in 2004, a series created by "Spin City's" Bill Lawrence. In three 2005 episodes of "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08), Fox guested as a rich businessman with lung cancer, earning an Emmy nomination for his work.

In 2006, Fox's Parkinson's advocacy efforts were in the spotlight once again when the actor stepped forward to publicly endorse Senatorial candidates who supported federally funded stem cell research ¿ a promising avenue of medical research that was ultimately vetoed by president George W. Bush over objections to its use of embryonic tissues. Fox carried on his with his efforts even after the bill was nixed and Right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of exaggerating his symptoms in a PSA to win over public support of the controversial bill. Nonplussed by the insensitivity of the Right, the actor continued his stem cell advocacy and reprised his voice role of Stuart Little in the third installment of the series, "Stuart Little 3," which was released direct-to-DVD in 2009. Meanwhile, he landed a four-episode arc on the popular comedy-drama, "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004-2011), playing an abrasive paraplegic and new boyfriend to Janet (Andrea Roth), who runs afoul of Tommy (Denis Leary) when they first meet. Fox earned another Emmy nomination for his work on the show for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, which he would go on to win. He earned further acclaim for his performance as a manipulative rival attorney on "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009- ) opposite the series¿ star Julianna Margulies. Meanwhile, he delivered a hilarious send up of himself on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ), where neighbor Larry (Larry David) accuses him of harassment. His performance on "The Good Wife" earned him Emmy nominations for guest actor in 2011 and 2012, while his "Curb" appearance gave him a second nomination in the latter year.and defining roles, catapulting him to international fame as the ultimate Republican groupie. And it would be his role of Alex that would change the course of his personal life, as he met his future wife, actress Tracy Pollan, after she played his onscreen girlfriend, Ellen. The couple would go on to marry in 1988 and have four children ¿ as well as the distinction of having one of the more happy and devoted of Hollywood marriages.

Fox earned three Emmy Awards during the course of "Family Ties." Only three years into the sitcom's run, the actor launched his career as movie star du jour with his role as the time-traveling, guitar-playing, boy-next-door Marty McFly, in Robert Zemeckis' wildly successful "Back to the Future" (1985). This second career-making role earned Fox a Golden Globe nomination for his energetic performance which hit all the right comedic notes. However, the same year he hit "Back to the Future" paydirt, Fox also starred in the anemic "Teen Wolf" (1985), which cast him as a student werewolf who parlays his condition into high school popularity. It was due largely to his Marty McFly appeal that "Teen Wolf" made any money at all. With high expectations resting heavily on his shoulders, Fox's next film, "The Secret of My Success" (1987), featured an appealing performance from the actor as a naive but ambitious kid who hustles his way into the corporate world of New York City, but it was hardly the audience pleaser many expected. Dissatisfied with his "nice boy" image, Fox attempted to broaden his range, slowly but surely, beginning with Paul Schrader's "Light of Day" (1987), a misguided rock 'n' roll drama co-starring Joan Jett as his renegade sister. Critics and fans alike reacted negatively to his atypical lack of intensity as the brooding factory worker/band member, enabling Jett to steal the mostly lackluster flick with her compelling performance. As for James Bridges' adaptation of Jay McInerney's "Bright Lights, Big City" (1988), the studio was as adamant as the public about not wanting to see Fox as a coke-snorting magazine fact checker. As expected, the troubled production failed to mark a new career direction for the actor, who for better or worse, typified the All American man-boy. It was a credit to the actor that despite substantial success on the big screen, Fox refused to bail on the sitcom that made him famous, riding Alex P. Keaton into the sunset when the show wrapped in 1989.

Still trying to make a go of edgier dramas, Fox played the conscience-stricken G.I. squaring off against an over-the-top sergeant (Sean Penn) in Brian De Palma's disturbing Vietnam saga "Casualties of War" (1989). The ticket-buying public and critics alike welcomed his return to light comic capers, "Back to the Future II" (1989) and "Back to the Future III" (1990). Shot back-to-back by Zemeckis, these films allowed Fox to play multiple characters, including an aged Marty, Marty's daughter, and his ancient Irish relative, Seamus McFly. He followed up with the cop buddy picture "The Hard Way" (1991) with James Woods and the fish-out-of-water comedy "Doc Hollywood" (1991) ¿ neither coming close to the box office pyrotechnics of the "Future" franchise. Fox discovered another outlet for his talent when he lent his voice to the Disney animal adventure remake "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" (1993), but the tepid response to his child talent agent in "Life With Mikey" (1993), his beleaguered hotel concierge in "For Love or Money" (1993), and his turn as Kirk Douglas' nephew in "Greedy" (1994) led to a career reassessment.

Changing management, Fox kept a low profile until Woody Allen called and offered up the opinion that Fox "played paranoid angst better than anyone else." Taking this as a huge compliment, he starred in Allen's TV remake of "Don't Drink the Water" (1994). The following year, Fox's portrayal of a mouthy White House domestic advisor ¿ modeled not-so-subtly on George Stephanopoulos ¿ in Rob Reiner's solid political romantic comedy "The American President" (1995) begged for an encore. When the long shoot in New Zealand for Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners" (1996) convinced the actor that a TV series schedule was a better fit for his offscreen family life, he re-teamed with "Family Ties" executive producer-creator Gary David Goldberg for the ABC sitcom "Spin City," where he played a New York City mayoral aide. As executive producer, Fox also had more input into the show, which featured the witty, fast-talking Fox at his trademark best.

However, just as Fox was settling into his second successful series run, the actor was forced to publicly disclose he had been fighting Parkinson's disease since 1991, after the shakes and tremors were becoming more and more obvious to viewers. Audiences were saddened, but that sympathy quickly turned to admiration when Fox transformed into a tireless activist for research into the disease. He testified in Washington about

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Trap, The (1991) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 A.R.C.H.I.E. (2016)
2.
 Annie (2014)
4.
 Interstate 60 (2003) Cameo Appearance
5.
 Stuart Little 2 (2002) Voice Of Stuart Little
6.
 Atlantis: the Lost Empire (2001) Voice Of Milo James Thatcher
7.
 Stuart Little (1999) Voice Of Stuart Little
8.
 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996) Voice Of Chance
9.
 Mars Attacks! (1996) Jason Stone
10.
 Frighteners, The (1996) Frank Bannister
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Canada
1976:
Made professional acting debut on the CBC series "Leo and Me"
1979:
TV-movie acting debut, "Letters From Frank" (CBS); encouraged by Art Carney to pursue acting in Los Angeles, CA
:
Added middle initial 'J' to his professional name to distinguish him from the <i>other</i> Michael Fox (a much older character actor)
1980:
Made TV series debut as a regular on "Palmerstown U.S.A." (CBS)
1980:
Made film debut in "Midnight Madness"
1982:
Achieved fame as Alex P Keaton, the conservative elder son of two former hippies on popular NBC sitcom "Family Ties"
1985:
Feature debut in a leading role, playing Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis' "Back to the Future"
1986:
Directed first short, "The Iceman Hummeth" for "David Letterman's 2nd Annual Holiday Film Festival" (NBC)
1987:
Acted opposite rocker Joan Jett in Paul Schrader's "Light of Day"
1988:
Starred as a young Midwesterner whose NYC life is coming apart at the seams in "Bright Lights, Big City"
1989:
Delivered fine dramatic turn as the conscience-stricken soldier in Brian De Palma's Vietnam drama "Casualties of War"
1989:
Reprised role of Marty McFly in "Back to the Future II" (1989) and "Back to the Future III" (1990), both directed by Zemeckis; also played multiple roles in both sequels
1991:
Made TV directorial debut with an episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt"
1992:
Helmed "Rainy Day" episode of "Brooklyn Bridge" (CBS), re-teaming with executive produce and creator Gary David Goldberg, who worked on "Family Ties"
1993:
Provided the voice of Chance (the Bulldog) in "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey"
1993:
Played rare supporting turn as a heavy in "Where the River Flows North"
1994:
Portrayed Alex Magee in ABC movie version of Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water"
:
Formed Snowback Productions with Matt Tolmach
1995:
Producing debut, "Coldblooded"; also appeared in a cameo
1995:
Delivered dead-on portrayal of advisor to "The American President"
1995:
Appeared in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's improvizational "Blue in the Face"
1996:
Reprised Chance for "Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco"
1996:
Joined the all-star cast of Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"
1996:
Re-teamed with Zemeckis (this time as executive producer) for Peter Jackson directed feature "The Frighteners"
1996:
Returned to series TV playing mayoral aide Michael Flaherty on ABC sitcom "Spin City"; also executive produced; announced plans to leave the show in 2001 to concentrate on raising money and awareness for Parkinson's disease; remained on as an executive producer; won an Emmy for his work as an actor in his final season
1997:
Re-teamed with director Rob Reiner for the musical comedy special "I Am Your Child" (ABC)
1998:
Publicly disclosed his 1991 diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in an interview with <i>People</i> magazine (November); also revealed he underwent brain surgery to alleviate tremors
1999:
Voiced the title character in the feature "Stuart Little"; returned for 2002 sequel "Stuart Little 2"
2001:
Provided the voice for the leading explorer in the Disney animated feature "Atlantis: The Lost Empire"
2002:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
2003:
Released the bestselling memoir <i>Lucky Man</i>
2003:
Wrote and produced the ABC sitcom pilot "Hench at Home" about a forcibly retired pro hockey player's home life
2004:
Guest starred on "Scrubs" (NBC) as a surgeon with obsessive-compulsive disorder
2006:
Played a business tycoon who suffers from cancer on three episodes of ABC's "Boston Legal"; earned an Emmy nomination
2009:
Guest starred on "Rescue Me" (FX) as Janet's (Andrea Roth) love interest
2009:
Traveled the world and sought out examples of what makes people from different cultures their happiest as host of the one-hour ABC special "Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist"
2009:
Earned Grammy nomination in Best Spoken Word category for <i>Always Looking Up</i>
2010:
Earned Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word for the album <i>A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Future...</i>
2011:
Joined cast of CBS' "The Good Wife" as a wily and cynical attorney afflicted with a neurological condition, which he exploits to sway jurors and potential clients
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Burnaby South Secondary: -

Notes

His official website is www.michaeljfox.com

"When I read the script, I thought of Lewis as Jiminy Cricket, who was Pinocchio's conscience in that fairy tale. Lewis is just that to the President; he's persistent, and he's always in the President's ear." --Michael J. Fox on his character in "The American President" quoted in the publicity material for the film.

"Suddenly, yeah, I had the number-one and number-two movies and the number-two television show in the country. And I had a Ferrari and all the money I could eat, and I had girls and it was really wild. I remember one time we taped an episode of 'Family Ties' and we left the Paramount lot in a limo for some reason, and we were going up Gower from Melrose and took a left on Sunset and went by that big kitschy theater, Cinerama Dome. It was playing 'Back to the Future' and there were lines around the block. I'd had a few beers at this point, so I popped my head out the sunroof and howled or crowed--I don't know what I did--and we got pulled over by a cop ... Then this other cop comes running up ... 'What are you doing? Do you know who that is? That's Michael J. Fox!' I said to myself, 'This is fucking weird. Two years ago, these were the guys who were emptying my beers and ripping my cigarettes apart looking for joints in my car.'" --quoted in Interview, August 1996.

Fox began watching tapes in a hotel room in New Zealand where he was making "The Frighteners": "My [twin] daughters had just been born and I was halfway around the world from my family. I was lonely. People were sending me shows to entertain me. 'Seinfeld', 'Friends', 'Ellen', 'The Larry Sanders Show'. I was watching this stuff, and thinking, 'Wow,' like it was really great. 'David Schwimmer is really kicking ass. Jason Alexander is so good. And Shandling and Rip Torn. This is where things are happening.' And I thought, 'Can I still do that? Yeah. I can. That's what I do. And I want to do it again.'" --Fox to Mary Murphy in TV Guide, September 30, 1996.

"I remember, when we were doing 'Family Ties', we would watch the studio audience. And even in the very beginning, when Michael would be on stage, you could just see the audience lean forward. And when he would exit, they would lean back just a little bit. Clearly he was really intriguing to them, right from the beginning. And that's just the magic, the X factor, that he has.

"When we did the research for the initial pilot of 'Spin City', people in the different focus groups loved it. But what was funny was what they said about his character: About half the people thought he had the best interest of the city at heart, was altruistic, cared about the mayor, cared about everyone, and they loved him. The other half thought he was self-serving, conniving, only out for himself ... and they loved him. It just didn't matter what their take on his character was. They just liked him." --Gary David Goldberg, creator-producer of both "Family Ties" and "Spin City", in Biography Magazine, November 1997.

"What I've learned through having Parkinson's and doing my work and not telling people about it is that whatever I'm perceived to be doing, I'm doing something else. I'm managing a physical situation. It taught me great discipline and an awareness of what I can expect from myself." --Fox to GQ, November 1999.

"Parkinson's isn't a big thing in my house. It hasen't impacted the kids. Our family is very normal. Tracy makes fun of me. The kids are all smart-asses. They all have a sense of humor. Someone will ask if their daddy is okay, and they'll say, 'Yeah, but he's a pain in the ass today'"---Fox to People April 12, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Nancy McKeon. Actor. Dated briefly in the 1980s.
wife:
Tracy Pollan. Actor. Born on June 22, 1960; married on July 17, 1988 in Vermont; worked together on "Family Ties" and in the film "Bright Lights, Big City" (1988); also appeared with Fox in 1997 episode of "Spin City" as an old girlfriend.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Bill Fox. Canadian Army officer. Died of a heart attack in 1990.
mother:
Phyllis Fox. Payroll clerk. Showing no favoritism, she placed his first Emmy in the same family trophy case with bowling and bridge trophies.
son:
Sam Michael Fox. Born on May 30, 1989; mother, Tracy Pollan.
daughter:
Aquinnah Kathleen Fox. Twin; born on February 15, 1995; mother, Tracy Pollan; name is a Native American word meaning "beautiful colors by the sea".
daughter:
Schuyler Frances Fox. Twin; born on February 15, 1995; mother, Tracy Pollan.
daughter:
Esme Annabelle Fox. Born on November 3, 2001; mother, Tracy Pollan.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Lucky Man: A Memoir" Hyperion

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