Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox in Edmonton
, Alberta Canada
June 9th, 1961
to parents Phyllis and William. Michael chose to change his middle initial to "J" in honor of his favorite character actor Michael J. Pollard
. His father was in the Canadian Armed Forces
so Michael's family moved around a lot when he was a kid. As he was growing up, Michael wanted to be a hockey player
, but by the time he was a teenager
, he began experimenting with music, art and writing. He actually spent a lot of time trying to break into the Vancouver music scene in garage bands
, until he found his destiny as an actor
By the time he was 15, Michael was starring in the CBS situation comedy Leo and Me, a special guest shot on Trapper John, M.D. and a number of TV movies filmed in Canada. He also did a lot of work on Canadian stages. After graduating high school, he moved to Los Angeles, California. It was touch and go for a year or two, but by the time his shot as Alex P. Keaton in NBCs Family Ties happened, Fox was already quite a veteran performer at an incredibly young age. Gary David Goldberg was creator and executive producer of the series, and became a good friend.
In 1988, Fox married actress Tracy Pollan. Fox starred on Family Ties until 1989, winning three Emmys and a Golden Globe. Perhaps his best achievement while on Family Ties was the one hour special episode titled A.. My Name is Alex in which Fox's character had a nervous breakdown after the loss of a close and dear friend in an automobile accident.
While still performing on Family Ties, Fox's next big break was in the full-length motion picture Back To The Future opposite Christopher Lloyd. This blockbuster hit set the stage for Michael's break as a movie star. Soon after this film, he began to knock out a enjoyable number of films, some with more success than others, but most equally enjoyable to watch. Among the highlights include Secret of My Succe$s, Bright Lights, Big City, Light of Day, Doc Hollywood, Frighteners, Mars Attacks and the two sequels to Back to the Future. He also performed in a television version of Woody Allen's Don't Drink The Water and enjoyed many other roles and productions. Though he never quite made Oscar material, Michael J. Fox has successfully entertained tens of millions of people throughout the world.
In 1996 Michael J. Fox returned to the small screen with a leading role in the ABC television series Spin City.
He played New York's deputy mayor, Michael Flaherty. With the help of a talented and driven ensemble cast, Fox managed to strike gold a second time, and had a glorious four years with the series. Working on Spin City also reunited Fox with Gary David Golberg, who co-created the show with Bill Lawrence, specifically for Michael J. Fox. Goldberg also worked for the first two seasons as co-executive producer with Michael. Lawrence took over Goldberg's responsibilities during the third. Michael J.Fox got three Emmys, three Golden Globes, and many other awards.
However, in the prime of his life and career, Fox learned he had Parkinson's disease in 1991. He chose not to inform the public of this for seven years, keeping it hidden even to the cast and crew of Spin City. In 1998, he vowed to commit his life to a search for a cure, and announced to the public that he was leaving the show in the winter of 2000. Charlie Sheen took his place. Fox founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. He spreads knowledge of the disease to the world, and spends much of his time raising funding for further research. Based on intensive study, it is Fox's belief and hope that a cure can be found by 2010.
Fox still makes public appearances. He was on hand while David Blaine froze himself in ice for a television special in the winter of 2000. He appeared briefly for an interview on Regis Philbun's morning show in January of 2001. Later in that same year, Fox's voice will represent a character in his first Disney animated feature about a story which takes place in the fabled city of Atlantis. Michael J. Fox has always been a charismatic individual. That has not changed. His determination and courage in the face of Parkinson's is a testament to the human spirit.