Michael J. Fox (born June 9, 1961) is a Canadian-born actor, made famous by his roles as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy and as Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties from which he won three Emmy awards.
Born Michael Andrew Fox in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, he adopted the J as a homage to character actor Michael J. Pollard. Since his father was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Michael and his family lived in various cities and towns across Canada including North Bay, Ontario, before finally settling in the Vancouver, British Columbia suburb of Burnaby after his father retired in 1971.
Fox moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career, which proved a hard road ahead. His debut on American TV was in "Letters From Frank", as Michael Fox. It wasn't until he began selling pieces of his furniture that he landed the role on Family Ties where he saw his fortune turn around. Notable roles since then include the Back to the Future movies, Mars Attacks!, Teen Wolf, For Love or Money, The Secret of My Succe$s, and the TV series Spin City from which he won his fourth Emmy award. He is the voice of Stuart Little in the series of movies based on the popular book by E. B. White, Chance in the Homeward Bound series, and Milo Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He also guest starred in the comedy Scrubs, rather poignantly, as a doctor suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Fox has also written an autobiographical book, called Lucky Man, about his experience of young-onset Parkinson's disease, with which he was diagnosed in 1991. Since then he has been a strong advocate of Parkinson's disease research, especially stem cell research, which he believes may one day help sufferers of Parkinson's and other debilitating illnesses. His foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, was created to help advance this research.
In 2000, he announced that he would be retiring from the lead role of Spin City due to his illness. (A new lead character would be created for Fox's replacement, Charlie Sheen.)
In 2003, he wrote a pilot episode for a sitcom entitled Hench at Home, but it was not picked up.
In 2005, he opened the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, United States as a tribute to boxer Muhammad Ali, fellow Parkinson's sufferer.
In 2006, he guest starred in three episodes of Boston Legal as a lung cancer patient who uses his influence in an experimental drug test to ensure he receives the real drug instead of a placebo.
Fox married actress Tracy Pollan on July 16, 1988. The couple have four children, Sam, Aquinnah, Schuyler and EsmÃ©.