Fox's big break was in the popular '80s television show Family Ties. He also starred in the hugely successful Back to the Future trilogy, not to mention many other films, before returning to TV in the '90s in the smash hit series, Spin City.
Best books … chosen by Michael J. Fox
- The Road By Cormac Mccarthy
(literature and fiction, sci-fi)
"It’s kind of surprising for someone who’s a self-described optimist to love this apocalyptic road story so much. But McCarthy captures the step-in-front-of-a-train, protect-at-all-costs mind-set of a father and transfers it to the starkest possible context. "
- The Bird Artist By Howard Norman
(literature and fiction)
"This is a book I wanted to option for a film. The narrator is a young man in early 20th-century Newfoundland who has killed an evil lighthouse keeper. He’s such a gentle soul that he never participated in the local custom of hunting birds, but instead chose to paint them. His story is one of redemption through art, and it’s helped get me through some tough periods. Norman’s hero, faced with a difficult situation, reacts badly, but it gives him the opportunity to evolve in ways he otherwise wouldn’t."
- The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay By Michael Chabon
(literature and fiction)
"Chabon is so brilliant. I don’t often fall for epics, but Chabon’s award-winning novel about two comic-book artists is a story about two very personal odysseys, told on an epic scale."
- Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas By Hunter S. Thompson
(history, literature and fiction, nonfiction, writing)
"This book was my introduction to the idea of a journalist responding to people and situations we couldn’t trust by deliberately delivering writing you couldn’t trust. To me, as a teenager, Thompson seemed dangerous, and the things he was writing about were dark and twisted. Yet there was something reassuring in the fact that the book existed."
- Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck
(literature and fiction, classics)
" A celebration of human dignity, and an examination of loyalty and grace in the face of persecution and ignorance. Though I’m obviously no giant, I always identified with Lennie more than with George. We’re all both, of course, which is why the novella is such a towering achievement."
- Easy Riders, Raging Bulls By Peter Biskind
"Biskind’s book documents a period in filmmaking that was formative for me. The films made in the ’60s and ’70s by Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, Robert Towne, and Hal Ashby represented such a leap forward from just a decade earlier. They shook up the way we all look at movies."
Why should you listen to him?
Michael J. Fox began his career at the age of 15, with the CBC series Leo and Me. Following that, his key early roles were in the made-for-TV film Letters from Frank, the Disney feature Midnight Madness and the TV drama Palmerstown, U.S.A. In 1982, he took on his most famous role, as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, which lasted until 1989 and won him three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. In 1985, Fox starred as Marty McFly in the blockbuster Back to the Future, and reprised the role in parts two (1989) and three (1990).
The same year that Back to the Future madness took off, Fox underscored his image as a teen heartthrob with the title role in the comedy, Teen Wolf. He followed these up with roles in popular late '80s and early '90s films like Light of Day, The Secret of My Success, Bright Lights, Big City, Casualties of War, and Doc Hollywood.
After a less successful period and a hiatus, he returned in fine form with parts in The American President and on the sitcom Spin City, for which he earned an Emmy, three Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, a People's Choice Award, and a GQ Man-of-the-Year Award. In December 2002, Fox was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
His most recent role as the voice of Stuart Little in the hit family comedy of the same name has introduced him to an entirely new audience, in the original film and the 2002 sequel.
Since announcing in 1998 that he has Parkinson's disease, he has established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, a charitable organization that seeks a cure for the disease.