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.
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.