The Many Faces Of Michael J. Fox

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

Family Man:

Perhaps Fox’s greatest role is that of father to the four children with his wife and one-time Family Ties co-star, Tracy Pollan. As a tribute to his family, he has voiced several characters in notable family films including: Homeward Bound, Stuart Little and Atlantis The Lost Empire.

stuart little The Many Faces Of Michael J. Fox


A Return To The Small Screen:

Fox reunited with Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg in 1996 for his role as deputy mayor Michael Flaherty in ABC’s Spin City. He won three Golden Globes for the role and one Emmy; adding to the three Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe he won for his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties.

Lucky Man:

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 and went public in 1998. Since that time, he has been a tireless campaigner for awareness and increased Parkinson’s research. You can read more about his organization: The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research HERE.

Though he retired from his full-time role on Spin City in 2000, Fox has continued to work in television, taking both comedic and dramatic turns in popular shows such as: Boston Legal, Scrubs and Rescue Me.

He is the author of two books, both of which express the same tone and attitude that he has lived his life with, and that has made him such a successful, well-liked, and in-demand actor. His 2002 memoir, Lucky Man, was a New York Times and national bestseller. He wrote a second book, entitled Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, which debuted at number two on the New York Times bestseller list in March of 2009.

michael j fox always looking up The Many Faces Of Michael J. Fox

Take a look at this excerpt from Always Looking Up, which is so indicative of the man, his message, and his life:

At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame. I can’t help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass. Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see. This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, “What are you smiling about?,” but I already know the answer: “It just gets better from here.”

Whatever he does, Michael J. Fox leaves his audience feeling lighter for it. It’s a subtle gift, and also a powerful one. In keeping with honoring this man and his unique contributions to the world of entertainment, I leave you with this:

Sources: The New York Times And The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research

Follow me on twitter @jrothc and Screen Rant @screenrant

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  1. i love his acting since i was young he was in all of my fav childhood movies

    • I was reminded of how much I love his work while writing this :D



  2. good article ive not seen Bright Lights Big City i think i’l check that out
    did use mention the frieghtners -it’s not amazing but it deserves a mention surely more than doc hollywood

    • Hey Fadge,

      Yeah, there was some discussion about which films to include, and the ones mentioned just seemed the most representative of his career path :D. I did think about The Frighteners though ;).



      • @Roth I was just wondering why, but it wasnt really an issue in the slightest, far from it infact. I ment it when I said it was a Good article a very enjoyable read,
        I’d be nice to read more like this most definitly

        • Oh yeah, thanks! I didn’t take that in a bad way at all. It’s just always interesting to think about what to include when you are writing about something that covers so much time. I guess I went with the ones that sort of tell the story of his style/career most clearly…The Frightners, like Light Of Day, were both kind of departures, (though they are very different movies) but I guess could have gotten their own categories.

          I do love Peter Jackson when he directs movies like this – Heavenly Creatures is one of my absolute favorites.

          I’m inspired to check out The Frighteners again now :)

          • always liked the family ties episode were M.j.f gets a job with the suicide hotline utter classic

            • woops didnt mean for that to be a direct reply, my mistake

  3. @ Fadge: I resent that slight against “Doc Hollywood.” I just love that movie. Although I do agree about the lack of “The Frighteners.” Where’s the love on that one?

    I love reading about Michael J. Fox. That “Family Ties” clip was just hysterical. I’ve been meaning to check out those seasons on DVD. This just might be my motivation to move them up on my list.

    Thanks for a fun article.

    • @Jessie I respect your point but I stand by mine, I personally find the film a tad Generic in terms of pace & story telling (not saying it’s not without merit after all M.J.Fox Is in it) but it’s simply not my cup of tea

    • Hey Jessie –

      Thanks! Yeah I loved that clip when I found it :), so quintessentially Alex :). I remembered how much I love his work writing this. As for The Frigteners — I mentioned to Fadge, that here was some discussion about which films to include, and the ones mentioned just seemed the most representative of his career path :D . I did think about The Frighteners though ;).

      Thanks for your comments! Had fun writing this one. :)



  4. Man Roth, what a great thread! I will have to find Family Ties on the net; when I saw that FT clip, I had to look around and make sure no one heard me laugh. Wow, such fond memories of such a great show.

    I would also like to mention The American President. Sure, Fox wasn’t the star but anyone who has seen that movie know he was a big part of it.

    • Thanks! Yeah I loved that clip as well :) Yeah, that was a great role for him as well — so much good stuff from him!



  5. Michael J. Fox did a good job playing Marty McFly in 3 Back to the Future films and I do appreciate him being the best actor. I have sense of personality like him time traveling from 1985 to 1955 in Part I, and Part 2 He time travels from 1985 to 2015 and back to 1955 where Older Biff wanted to find every solution to Marty McFly’s past and future. In Part III He time travels from 1955 to 1885 in the Wild West era and meet up with Emmett Brown.

    Part 4 should say “Return to the Future” for Marty McFly, Jr (The Son of Marty McFly) discovering his father that they both turn back from the past to the present time. Its like Indiana Jones meeting with his son in INDINA JONES 4. See in Part 2, When Marty McFly time travels to the year 2015, how he aged to an old man. That will give the screenwriter David Koepp of INDIANA JONES 4 to do.

    • MJF is done with acting though, it takes too big of a toll out on him, did you see him at the Scream? I applaud him for coming out there and just being there for the fans, but you could just tell it took all he had just maintain control :( Parkinsons is just eating away at him bigtime.

      i do miss Family Ties, there will never be, nor has there ever been a show like that on TV.

      • Yeah I saw scream I thought it was preety bad to see how his illness has been taking a toll on him recently(especially his speech). plus christopher lloyd barly said anything either which looked wierd as hell,
        Although I saw -in the actors studio when he was on it and he seemed alot better health wise

  6. Great job, Roth!

    • Thanks Anthony!

  7. Loved the article but noticed no love for “The Hard Way”… That movie was Hilarious. James Woods and Michael J. Fox were classic in it…

    • ;D yeah – that is a good one. It’s hard to fit them all in! So I tended towards ones that illustrated a general theme :D. Good add!



  8. Beautifully written article. I’m a huge fan of MJF and I appreciated reading about him here. Well done, Screenrant. Another reason why I love this site.

    • Thanks Alex! :) I had so much fun writing about him :)



  9. Nothing but love and admiration for Michael J. Fox. He is fantastic. And thanks for reminding me about his second book — I was so impressed with his first one; I need to read the second!

    I’ve been a fan of his since Family Ties, and Back To The Future, and Spin City, and American President, and and and… he’s wonderfully talented, and with his dedication to the Parkinson’s fight he’s also amazingly strong. I can’t say enough about him. Thank you so much for this tribute to the man and his work.

    P.S. It makes me want to rewatch Back To The Future and Family Ties. *big smile*

    • Me too! Getting the new DVD for BTTF and now wanting to get some more from the MJF catalog.

      Thanks :)!


  10. “The Frighteners” was one of MJF’s best films, I can’t believe this was up for debate?
    MJF, class act, loved his heath related/symbolic epoc performance in “Rescue Me!”,,,

    Amazing inside performance when he’s describing his crippling event to Tommy Gaven. Its a total mirror of his real life/career. In a way very inside and revealing, if your read between the lines/script its a very touching performance!