In a shocking revelation worthy of a thriller movie, it turns out that Michael J. Fox’s middle name doesn’t start with a J at all. It’s Andrew. We feel like we’ve been lied to our whole lives, and it’s not OK! To avoid getting mixed up with other actors, many actors use their middle initial in their professional stage names eg. Samuel L. Jackson, Michael B. Jordan, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, and more. But we presume that most of them use their real middle initial!
It turns out that there is a backstory to Michael J. Fox’s professional name, according to his Wikipedia page, which states; “Fox was discovered by producer Ronald Shedlo and made his American television debut in the television film Letters from Frank in 1979, credited under the name Michael Fox.”
“He intended to continue to use the name, but when he registered with the Screen Actors Guild, which requires unique registration names to avoid credit ambiguities (and the possibility that royalty checks would be sent to the wrong actors), he discovered that Michael Fox, a veteran character actor, was already registered under the name.“
“As he explained in his autobiography Lucky Man: A Memoir and in interviews, he needed to come up with a different name. He did not like the sound of Michael A. Fox during a time when fox was more widely used to mean attractive, and because his ‘A’ sounded too much like the Canadian ‘eh?’ Fox also disliked the sound of Andrew or Andy, so he decided to use a different middle initial and settled on ‘J,’ as a tribute to actor Michael J. Pollard.”
Michael J. Fox was launched to fame during the 1980s in the sitcom Family Ties. This helped him land his most famous role as Marty McFly in the the Back to the Future trilogy. Other 80s/90s hits included Teen Wolf, The Secret of my Success and Doc Hollywood. While Fox was starring on the comedy series Spin City, alongside Succession‘s Alan Ruck, Fox revealed that he’d been diagnosed with Parkison’s disease. One of his most recent roles has been in the legal drama The Good Wife and its spin-off The Good Fight.
If you’re a Back to the Future fan, check out our guide to the best time travel movies.