10+ Random Facts About Michael J. Fox Fans Didn't Know

Michael J. Fox is a true hero.

The Back to the Future actor has faced a lot in his life, and yet, he still manages to smile through it all.

This includes the rejection he first faced in Hollywood, alcohol addiction he had to overcome and his Parkinson's diagnosis.

Here, 10+ random facts you didn't know about him.

1. He's Canadian.

Yep, he's a Canuck! The actor was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on June 9, 1961.

Mike, as he's known by family and friends, was the fourth of five children. His father was a sergeant in the Canadian Army and his mother was a payroll clerk.

2. He quit high school to pursue acting.

This happened two years after he landed his first role on the Canadian sitcom, Leo and Me.

When he moved to Los Angeles with his dad at 18, he eventually caught his big break as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties in 1982.

3. He struggled to get jobs when he first moved to Hollywood.

Like many actors when they first move to Hollywood, Michael faced his fair share of rejection.

"People turned me down because I was too short and funny looking and I had a funny accent," he told Men's Health.

4. He met his wife, Tracy Pollan, on *Family Ties*

Pollan played his character's girlfriend, on the show for a while. But they didn't start dating until they worked on the 1988 film Bright Lights, Big City together.

They wed in 1988 and have four children together.

5. Being young and famous caused the actor to face some dark times.

Just like Justin Bieber sings in "Lonely," there comes a price with having money and fame at an early age.

For Michael, he found himself slipping into drinking and overspending.

"By 21, I was earning six figures a week. By 23, I had a Ferrari," he told AARP.

"It was nuts. I never stopped to figure that out."

It was after he met his now-wife, Tracy Pollan, that he quit his bad habits.

6. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991.

This is a brain disorder that causes the actor's body to never stop moving.

When he was first diagnosed with the disorder, Fox felt incredibly alone. “It’s tough to see people feel like they have to share your experience, and they can’t share your experience," he told Channel Sunrise.

7. He turned to alcohol after he got his Parkinson's diagnosis at 29.

“I just spun out again,” he told Men's Health.

“I started to drink heavily, and it was screwing up my relationships and screwing up my marriage and screwing up my work.”

When he woke up to his toddler poking his drunk body, he hit a turning point.

The drink he had the night before ended up being the last drink he ever had.

“The tools that worked for quitting drinking work even better for this, which are: acceptance and surrender,” Fox said.

8. Quitting alcohol also meant accepting his Parkinson's diagnosis.

"With Parkinson’s, I’d reached a détente with it. An understanding. It was like, ‘You can take up this space, just leave me this space."

This has worked wonders for the star, who has become an advocate for the disorder.

9. He helped Selma Blair through her multiple sclerosis battle.

Since the actor has always been so public with his journey, Selma felt comfortable reaching out to him when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

This led to this adorable photo between the two <3

10. His breakout movie role was in *Back to the Future*.

While Family Ties got his foot in the Hollywood door, the time-traveling film cemented his status as a star.

After all, the franchise has been around — and popular — since the 1980s. This means that it's considered a classic that's untouchable by fans.

He even reunited with the film's cast in 2020.

Ahead of the film’s upcoming 35th anniversary, actor Josh Gad hosted the cas for his YouTube series, Reunited Apart, which aims to raise money for coronavirus relief funds.

Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Michael J.Fox, and Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines-McFly), plus more, all joined in on the fun.

11. He formed the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000.

It's been 20 years since the actor formed the Parkinson's research and advocacy organization.

Since then, it has raised more than $1 billion in search of a cure for the condition.

12. He had to undergo spinal surgery in 2018.

This came after a tumor was found on his spine. While it was noncancerous, it was causing the actor horrible pain.

“I was heading for paralysis if I didn’t get it operated on,” he told People.

13. The surgery was successful, but it did leave the actor having to learn how to walk again.

He also faced one of the scariest moments of his life: he shattered his left arm while home alone recovering.

In an interview with Men's Health, he detailed how the injury left him feeling incapacitated and alone.

"I found myself sitting on that floor going, 'This is [expletive]. I can’t put a happy face on this."

In the end, it was TV reruns — particularly game shows from the 1970s — that gave him peace as he recovered from both.