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Michael J. Fox Turns 50

As his old Back to the Future buddy Doc Brown might exclaim, "Great Scott!"

Michael J Fox turns 50

Michael J. Fox's most famous films include (from left to right) Back to the Future, Teen Wolf and Stuart Little. — Illustration: Sean McCabe (Universal/Everett Collection; Brian Zak/AP Photo; Columbia/Everett Collection; MGM/Everett Collection)

The Big 5-Oh: June 9

Michael J. Fox first breezed into America's living rooms on the 1980s hit sitcom Family Ties, in which he played Alex P. Keaton, a buttoned-down high schooler and stridently conservative Republican whose political views contrasted comically with those of his liberal hippie parents. The show premiered in 1982, and Alex Keaton, a role which won Fox three Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, became one of the iconic TV characters of Reagan-era America. Family Ties ran for eight seasons, fittingly ending its run as the decade closed in 1989.

See also: George Clooney at 50: His career (so far) in photos.

It was Fox's role as time-traveling teen Marty McFly in Back to the Future that catapulted the actor from sitcom king to Hollywood superstar. Released in the summer of 1985, Back to the Future was a critical hit and a bona fide blockbuster, becoming the year's highest-grossing film and spawning two successful sequels. The movie's appeal endures as well — last year we named it to our list of the 10 best summer movies ever.

Next: A champion for Parkinson's disease research. >>

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