The Biography of Michael J. FoxMichael J. Fox, a Canadian and American film actor, saw his illustrious career truncated by the treacherous onslaught of Parkinson's disease. Known globally as Marty McFly from the Oscar-winning sci-fi comedy "Back to the Future," he is a recipient of "Saturn," "Golden Globe," and "Emmy" awards, and holds two personal stars on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and Canada. According to "Times" magazine, he features among the "100 individuals whose power, talent, and moral example have transformed the world." A director and producer, in recent years he has penned books chronicling his struggle with Parkinson's syndrome.
Childhood and FamilyMichael Andrew Fox was born in the summer of 1961, becoming the fourth child of Bill Fox and Phyllis Piper. His mother was an actress but transitioned to office clerking in search of a more stable income when two more children joined the family after Michael. His father served in the military, resulting in the family's frequent relocations. From Edmonton, where the boy was born, Bill was dispatched several times to other Canadian cities for service. The children switched schools multiple times until the father retired in 1974.
Nevertheless, a drama instructor suggested that Michael try his hand at acting. The lively lad with animated facial expressions quickly took a shine to it. With his teacher's guidance, Fox began attending castings and featuring in episodes of various TV shows.
First RolesThe persistence and determination of the young Canadian led him to the sets of the series "Palmerstown, USA" (Willy-Joe Hall), "Trapper John, M.D." (Elliot Schweitzer), and the comedy "Midnight Madness" (Scott). As there was already a namesake actor, the young man borrowed the middle name of his idol, actor Michael J. Pollard, and henceforth was credited as Michael J. Fox.
The aspiring actor dreamt of a major role, but the launch of his film career was not as successful as he had hoped. To appear "more solid" with his modest height, Fox tried to gain weight, but only made things worse. Just as he was losing hope in his dream of becoming famous in Hollywood, Michael was offered one of the lead roles in the television series "Family Ties" (1982 – 1989).
That guy was much closer to the Canadian kid who adored rock stars: Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page - and dreamt of being a rock star himself. But I was not a rock star. I was an idiot who never grasped the main thing: I achieved everything because I really had some skills. I considered myself as having won the lottery and did not respect my own abilities. I rode in a limousine, sticking out through the roof hatch, a can of beer in each hand, and wondered: who would have thought that I - me! - would achieve such success?Indeed, the success was resounding. For his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton, the actor received three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe award over different years. Ahead, Michael J. Fox was set to take on new roles, including the one that would catapult him to the peak of international fame.
"Back to the Future"In the mid-eighties, director Robert Zemeckis saw Michael J. Fox in "Family Ties" and immediately decided that this actor would be the protagonist in his science fiction film "Back to the Future". The producers of the television series strongly objected to Michael appearing concurrently in another film, and he did not want to leave "Family Ties".
Further CareerAfter the success of the "Back to the Future" trilogy, offers for leading roles poured in for the actor one after another. Michael looked excellent in the comedy "Teen Wolf" (as Scott Howard), in the family film "Poison Ivy" (as camp counselor Dennis Baxter), and in the musical drama "Light of Day" (as rock musician Joe Rasnick).
DiseaseIn 1998, Michael shocked his fans with terrible news - doctors diagnosed him with Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Moreover, the actor found out about this back in 1991, when he was only 30, which is surprising because Parkinson's is typical for elderly people.
In 2018, Michael was found to have a tumor in his spine. Fortunately, it was benign. But after surgery, he had to spend 4 months in a wheelchair, relearning to walk. And after rehabilitation, when it seemed to him that the most difficult was behind, he fell in his apartment and broke his arm. This episode, as Michael remembered, was the darkest in his life:
I was standing in the kitchen, leaning against the wall, waiting for an ambulance, and thinking about how pitiful I am. At that moment, I did not know how to cope with this. I thought: «I can't bear this with dignity. There is nothing good in what happened to me, no bright side. All that is left for me is pain and regret.However, thanks to the support of his wife and watching his favorite shows from the 70s, Michael managed to regain an optimistic attitude. He admits that he can no longer dance, play the guitar, or draw, but he has found solace in writing and communicating with his family.
Michael J. Fox's Personal LifeThe actor is the type of man who is loyal to one woman. During the filming of "Family Ties," he met actress Tracy Pollan - she played Ellen, the girlfriend of his character Alex.
It seemed that the actor was serious with actress Nancy McKeon, then he was suspected of having an affair with Courteney Cox, who joined the cast of "Family Ties."
Michael's diagnosis made me forget about my hypochondria. But he is so relaxed and has so naturally accepted everything that has happened to him that life seems to have become easier for me, for the children, and for everyone around.In February 1995, the couple had twins Skylar and Aquinnah, and in November 2001, another daughter, who was named Esme, was born. The whole large family lives in Manhattan and supports the head of the family with all their might. Michael continues to fight his own disease, despite announcing the complete end of his acting career in the fall of 2020.