Michael Andrew Fox (born June 9, 1961), known professionally as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian and American activist and retired actor. Beginning his career as a child actor in the 1970s, he rose to prominence portraying Alex P. Keaton on the NBC sitcom Family Ties (1982–1989) and Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film trilogy (1985–1990). Fox went on to star in films such as Teen Wolf (1985), The Secret of My Success (1987), Casualties of War (1989), Doc Hollywood (1991), and The Frighteners (1996). He returned to television on the ABC sitcom Spin City in the lead role of Mike Flaherty (1996–2000).