Michael J. Fox, born on June 9, 1961, is a Canadian actor who started acting when he was 15. Although small-bodied, he created a big name for himself within the filming industry and defied the norms by performing for 20 years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His countless awards continue to speak for his talent, which has landed him on several walls of fame. A man with a compassionate heart deserves to be appreciated on his special day, and today, we are here to help you celebrate him.
Michael J. Fox was born to Phyllis and William Fox in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His mother was a payroll clerk, and his father was in the Canadian Army Signal Corps. He has four siblings: Kelli, Karen, Jacki, and Steven. The family moved to Vancouver after his father retired, and it was during these years that Fox realized his desire for acting.
When he was 15, Fox auditioned to perform in Leo and Me, a series that aired in 1978. After working in a few television series, he finally secured a part in Family Ties, acting the part of Alex P. Keaton. He was 21 years old. In 1990, his father passed away. Fox was so distraught by his father that he began experiencing depressive symptoms. However, his diagnosis was not one he had ever dreamed about. It turned out that Fox had Parkinson’s disease. However, his diagnosis did not stop him from living his dream. He even finished his education, receiving a general educational development degree in 1995. Fox was the first guest on The Daily Show when Jon Steward was still host, right before Trevor Noah took over. He won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Spin City, and made it to Canada’s Wall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, in 2008.
Fox married Tracy Pollan, whom he met on-set filming for Family Ties. They have four children: Sam, Annabelle, Kathleen, and Phyllis Fox. After regretting his decision to quit school, Fox continues encouraging his children against it.
Fox auditions and gets a role in a series titled "Leo and Me."
He establishes the foundation to find a cure for those who may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Sweden's Karolinska Institute honors Fox with an honorary doctorate.
Fox plays the role of a news anchor, Mike Henry, who gets diagnosed with Parkinson's before giving up his job in the "Michael J. Fox Show."
Due to his declining health, Fox decides to go off the screen forever.
Why We Love Michael J. Fox
He has a passion for helping others
Despite having retired from acting, Fox continues to make guest appearances in films that make people aware of Parkinson's disease. His foundation has raised $240 million in research funds for Parkinson's disease since its inception.
He values education
Although he might not have finished his schooling on time, Fox continues to encourage his children to graduate from college and make something valuable out of their lives. He regrets quitting school but continues to learn and educate others, especially about Parkinson's disease.
He rose from his struggles
Fox’s success has a story of struggle and pain behind it. He did not always have job offers coming his way, and he struggled to make ends meet as an 18-year-old living in Los Angeles. Yet, despite the struggles, he managed to capitalize on his disease and draw the world's attention to finding a cure for it.
5 Surprising Facts
Fox is a self-taught guitarist
Fox was eight when he received his first guitar and has taught himself how to play it over the years.
He quit school before senior year
Before reaching his senior year in high school, Fox dropped out to pursue a career in acting.
He adopted the “J” in his name
When he entered the entertainment industry, Fox couldn't use his name because somebody else was using it, so he added a "J" in his name to honor Michael J. Pollard.
He almost died in an airplane crash
He boarded a flight to New York on a Concorde with his family and later heard that a Concorde plane crashed on the same day he had initially wanted to leave.
He negotiated a deal from a booth
Fox had no phone at home and had to make sure that between 4 and 5 p.m., he was near the phone booth so he could take the call to secure his role in "Family Ties."
Michael J. Fox FAQs
What symptoms did Michael J. Fox experience before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
He noticed his finger was twitching, and he had a sore shoulder while shooting the movie “Doc Hollywood.”
How long after being diagnosed did Fox reveal his disease to the world?
Fox revealed that he had the disease seven to eight years after being diagnosed.
What stage of the disease is he in?
Fox is in the advanced stage of Parkinson’s. He occasionally uses a wheelchair and has difficulty performing day-to-day tasks like writing, forming words, e.t.c.
Michael J. Fox’s birthday dates