Happy Birthday MJ!
5 fun facts for Michael J. Fox's 50th birthday (don't you feel old?)
Michael J. Fox, well-known for his roles in Back to the Future, Spin City and Family Ties turns 50 today. Which is making more than a few people feel really old.
In celebration of his illustrious career, here are five fun facts — one for each decade of his life — in honor of the original Teen Wolf:
1. The "J" doesn't actually stand for anything
His real middle name is Andrew.
Apparently, when Fox originally attempted to register with the Screen Actors Guild, he was informed that there was already a Michael Fox in the system. He didn't want to be known as Michael A. Fox (too many Tiger Beat"Michael, A Fox!" jokes were already running through his head) and didn't like the sound of Andrew or Andy Fox. The J is a tribute to legendary character actor Michael J. Pollard.
2. He was the first guest Jon Stewart ever had on The Daily Show (January 11, 1999)
3. He's unofficially very highly educated
Despite the fact that he never formally finished high school (a decision he has always regretted), Fox has earned a myriad of honorary degrees.
He received an honorary high school diploma from John Dewey High School in Coney Island, NY when he delivered the commencement speech in 1984. In 2008, he was awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts from NYU, as well as a Doctorate of Laws from the University of British Columbia.
His most prestigious degree comes from Sweden's Karolinska Institute — yes, the same one that awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine — due to his outstanding work towards a cure for Parkinson's Disease.
4. He has written three books
Lucky Man: A Memoir was released in 2002, and Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist was Fox's 2009 release.
His book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned, billed itself as the "perfect gift for graduates" and details the non-traditional ways Fox learned just as much as everyone else, despite his lack of a formal education.
5. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised $240 million in research funds for Parkinson's Disease
It's no secret that Fox eventually decided to retire from acting due to his battle with Parkinson's, although he still makes occasional guest appearances, like his recurring role as an attorney who uses his disability to gain sympathy in The Good Wife. Over the last decade, Fox has become the face of the disease, and has enthusiastically led the crusade to finding a cure.