MICHAEL J Fox is a Canadian-American actor, author, comedian, producer and activist.
He is most famous for appearing in the Back To The Future film trilogy and his campaigning work to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Here’s everything you need to know about the star…
Michael J Fox became a household name for his role in Back To The Future – and his activism for sufferers of Parkinson’sCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Who is Michael J Fox?
Michael Andrew Fox, known professionally as Michael J Fox, was born on June 9, 1961, in Edmonton, Canada.
Fox, 59, is an award-wining TV and film actor who got his big break aged 15 starring in Canadian sitcom, Leo And Me.
He moved to LA and featured in sitcom Family Ties for seven years in the 1980s, winning three consecutive Emmy awards for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
He became a household name playing time travelling teen Marty McFly in Back To The Future in 1985, releasing two more instalments in the series over the following five years.
He married actress Tracy Pollan in 1988 and they have four children together: son Sam Michael, 31, twins Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances, 25, and 19-year-old Esme.
When was Michael diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
He was diagnosed with the onset of Parkinson’s – a long-term degenerative disorder of the nervous system – in 1991 aged 29, but kept his condition secret for seven years.
He was told by doctors at the time that he only had ten years of working left before his condition would have deteriorated too much.
He admitted in his 2002 memoir Lucky Man that he had been living in denial, but also that speaking out would destroy his acting career.
In 1996, he started acting in political drama Spin City, winning an Emmy and three Golden Globes during the show’s run.
He went public with his illness in 1998 and quit the show in 2000, throwing himself into being a campaigner and activist for Parkinson’s research.
Michael J Fox is a Canadian-American actor, author and activistCredit: Getty Images – Getty
What movies and TV shows has Michael J Fox starred in?
Michael J Fox’s career began in the 1970s – but it was his starring role in Robert Zemeckis’ Back To The Future trilogy that turned him into a superstar.
In between the releases of the three films, he also starred in a number of popular 80s classics such as Teen Wolf (1985), Light of Day (1987), The Secret of My Success (1987), Bright Lights, Big City (1988), and Casualties Of War (1989).
His last major film role was in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners in 1996.
On television, he played Alex P. Keaton on the American sitcom Family Ties for seven years between 1982 and 1989.
He also played Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom Spin City which ran between 1996 and 2000.
Fox also made a number of cameo and reoccurring appearances in comedy Scrubs, four episodes of Boston Legal and five episodes of Rescue Me.
He held a regular role in US drama The Good Wife for three years and made a guest appearance as himself in Larry David’s post-Seinfield spin off series, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In November 2020 he revealed he may retire for a second time after struggling to learn his lines.
He said in his book No Time Like the Future that his ability to “download words and repeat them verbatim” has “diminished”.
Michael J Fox became world famous after starring in the Back To The Future film trilogyCredit: Rex Features
What was the Michael J Fox death hoax?
On August 2, 2018, a fake news report designed to look like Yahoo! News circulated a report that Michael had died.
The story, which was NOT true, read: “On August 2, Michael J. Fox arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was self-admitted with complications attributed to Parkinson’s Disease.
“According to Chief Coroner Jonathan Lucas M.D., Fox had developed pneumonia, a common problem occurring in Parkinson’s sufferers in the later stages of the disease.
“Tragically, Fox died at 11:24 this morning. Doctors confirmed Fox passed away peacefully and was surrounded by friends and family.”
Michael did not respond or comment on the death hoax.
What charity work does he do?
The star set up the Michael J Fox Foundation in 2000 aiming to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, and the fund has donated more than £530million in research funding.
In January 2018, he donated £100,000 in funding to a UK university to develop an app that monitors sufferers’ symptoms of the disease.
Does Michael have any tattoos?
In January 2019 it was revealed that Michael got his first ever tattoo at the tender age of 57.
Michael shared a picture of his tattoo on social media, writing: “First tattoo, sea turtle, long story.”
The actor posed alongside tattoo artists Mr K and Keith ‘Bang Bang’ McCurd and even gave the artist signed Back to the Future props as payment.
Tattoo artist McCurdy later revealed the meaning behind the artwork to Inked magazine.