Michael J. Fox Headshot

Michael J. Fox        

Award-Winning Canadian-American actor, Author, Producer, and Advocacy

Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox in 1961 to parents William and Phyllis in Edmonton, the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta. (He later adopted the "J" as an homage to legendary character actor Michael J. Pollard.)

Like most Canadian kids, Fox loved hockey and dreamed of a career in the National Hockey League. In his teens, his interests expanded. He began experimenting with creative writing and art and played guitar in a succession of rock-and-roll garage bands before ultimately realizing his affinity for acting.

Fox debuted as a professional actor at 15, co-starring in the sitcom Leo and Me on Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) with future Tony Award winner Brent Carver. Over the next three years, he juggled local theater and TV work, and landed a few roles in American TV movies shooting in Canada.

When he was 18, Fox moved to Los Angeles. He had a series of bit parts, including one in CBS' short-lived (yet critically acclaimed) Alex Haley/Norman Lear series Palmerstown USA, before winning the role of lovable conservative "Alex P. Keaton" on NBC's enormously popular Family Ties (1982-89). During Fox's seven years on Ties, he earned three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, making him one of the country's most prominent young actors.

Fox returned to series television in 1996 with ABC's Spin City, portraying "Michael Flaherty," New York's deputy mayor. He won critical praise, garnering three Golden Globe Awards, one Emmy Award, three Emmy nominations, a GQ Man-of-the-Year Award (in the TV comedy category), a People's Choice Award, and two SAG Awards. During his time on the show, shot entirely in New York City, Fox did everything from galloping bareback through Central Park to jumping into the Hudson River. He also served as executive producer, along with Gary David Goldberg, Bill Lawrence, David Rosenthal, and producer/director Andy Cadiff.

In other television work, Fox starred in Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water in 1994. He directed Teri Garr and Bruno Kirby in an episode of Tales from the Crypt and later directed an installment of the series Brooklyn Bridge.

Fox also had time during his busy TV work to become an international film star, appearing in over a dozen features showcasing his keen ability to shift between comedy and drama. These include the Back to the Future trilogy; The Hard Way; Doc Hollywood; The Secret of My Success; Bright Lights, Big City; Light of Day; Teen Wolf; Casualties of War; Life with Mikey; For Love or Money; The American President; Greedy; The Frighteners; and Mars Attacks!.

Fox married his Family Ties co-star, actress Tracy Pollan, in 1988. Together they have four children. Inspired to find projects that his kids would enjoy, Fox has lent his voice to a variety of hit children's films since the early 1990's. He began as "Chance" the dog in Disney's Homeward Bound movies. In December 1999, he provided the voice of "Stuart Little" for the Sony feature of the same name, and in the summer of 2001 Fox's voice was heard as that of the lead in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, his first animated feature for The Walt Disney Co.

Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991. Upon disclosing his condition in 1998, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson's research.

Fox announced his retirement from Spin City in January 2000, effective upon the completion of his fourth season and 100th episode. Expressing pride in the show, its talented cast, writers, and creative team, he explained that new priorities made this the right time to step away from the demands of a weekly series.

Fox remains in demand as an actor. In spring 2009 he took on a multi-episode guest arc in Denis Leary's hit FX Network drama Rescue Me. In 2006 he had a recurring guest role in the ABC legal drama Boston Legal, and he appeared as "Dr. Kevin Casey" in the then-NBC series Scrubs in 2004.

Fox also has become known as a best-selling author. His second book, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, was published in March 2009 and debuted at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list. His 2002 memoir, Lucky Man, also was a New York Times and national bestseller, and its audio recording was nominated for a Grammy award. While he maintains a strong commitment to his acting and writing careers, Fox has shifted his primary focus and energies toward The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which he launched in 2000, and its efforts to raise much-needed research funding and awareness for Parkinson's disease.

Fox wholeheartedly believes that if there is a concentrated effort from the Parkinson's community, elected representatives in Washington, DC, and (most importantly) the general public, researchers can pinpoint the cause of Parkinson's and uncover a cure within our lifetime.

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Speech Topics


Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

In this compelling lecture, inspirational speaker Michael J. Fox shares with audiences the remarkable lessons he has learned and the hard-won perspective that ultimately helped him view challenges as opportunities. Speaking about his life through the critical themes of work, politics, faith, and family, he walks audiences through his journey of self-discovery and reinvention with captivating humor and wit. Describing how to become a happier, more satisfied person by recognizing the gifts of everyday life, Fox encourages audiences to not build walls but rather develop a personal policy of engagement and discovery. It is this emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson's disease.

An Evening with Michael J. Fox

News


Michael J. Fox's new NBC sitcom begins shooting in New York City ...

Michael J. Fox films a fire scene with Ana Nogueira at the Meatpacking district of ... an NBC reporter on the upcoming show, slated for NBC's 2013-14 schedule. ... but since then he had made a number of appearances on hit shows such as ...

Emmys 2013: Michael J. Fox remembers 'second father' Gary David ...

Michael J. Fox is about to start a new chapter in his television career, but he paused at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards to recall the man who largely made  ...

Michael J. Fox Talks Back to the Future at 30th Anniversary Event

Here's something you didn't see in Back to the Future: all the times Michael J. Fox was whacked by the DeLorean, the iconic gull-winged car that drove his ...

Michael J. Fox & 'Back to the Future' Cast Reunite for Special Anniversary Screening in NYC!
Nike Stands in Michael J. Fox's Shoes

Michael J. Fox has a saying (okay, he’s got a million of them) used to motivate employees at his eponymous foundation in its war against Parkinson’s disease, which the 55-year-old actor has had for 26 years...

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