Great Scott! It's Michael J. Fox!

Wait a minute, Doc, are you telling me its Marty McFly's birthday?

Photo credit: Looper.com

And the answer is: yes! Reigning in his 60th year, Michael J. Fox celebrates his birthday today with his usual class, poise and style. Since his retirement from acting in 2020, Fox has continued to use his name recognition and lifelong success to raise money for great causes. More specifically, Fox remains active in the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research that he founded in 2000. After receiving the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease in the early 1990s, Fox founded the research-based organization to aid the cause for a cure. To date, the foundation is the largest non-profit research institution for Parkinson's in the world, and has raised over $1 billion in profit.

Photo credit: Getty Images for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. 

However, Fox wasn't always the philanthropist, activist and Emmy award-winner that he is today. Born in Edmonton, Canada, in 1961, Fox moved around Canada with his family until settling just outside Vancouver in 1971. It was there that Fox starred in his first role at age 15 in the Canadian television series Leo and Me. Shortly after, Fox added the "J." to his name to distinguish himself from other actors by the same name, and to pay homage to actor Michael J. Pollard.

Between 1982 and 1989, Fox spent seven seasons as Alex Keaton in the hit television show Family Ties. According to a 2014 Jimmy Fallon interview, the actor was able to negotiate his role only because actor Matthew Broderick was unavailable. Luckily so, too, as the show went on to hold the hearts and minds of the American public throughout the '80s (in fact, it's estimated that a third of American households watched the show every week). Fox won three Emmy awards for Family Ties in 1986, 1987, and 1988.

Photo credit: CBS Paramount Network Television. 

After becoming somewhat of a teen idol, Fox was cast in the legendary 1985 film Back to the Future. For two months straight, Fox went straight from 10 AM-6 PM shooting of Family Ties to the set of Back to the Future, where he shot until 2:30 AM. Thankfully, the film was an immediate success. It spent eight consecutive weekends as the number-one grossing movie at the U.S. box office in 1985, and eventually earned a worldwide total of $381.11 million.

After working on a slew of other movies – including, but not limited to Teen Wolf (1985), Mars Attacks! (1996), voice acting in the Homeward Bound series (1993) and voice acting  in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – Fox announced his Parkinson's diagnosis in 2000. Following the announcement, Fox commenced his gradual retirement as well as the initiation of his Foundation. Today, he remains active in his Foundation and an immortalized figure in film and television. Rock on, Marty.

Check out the trailer for Back to the Future below.


Question of the Day Mobile App

Subscribe

Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.