Undeterred by Parkinson's, Back to the Future actor Michael J. Fox's path to a $65 million net worth was driven by ambition and resilience. Here’s how he invests his fortune.
Updated Jul 20, 2023
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Ever wondered what the current Michael J Fox net worth is? Boot up your flux capacitor because we’re zooming into the fascinating journey of the Back to the Future star who, despite battling Parkinson’s disease, has amassed an estimated net worth of $65 million.
Michael J. Fox’s net worth in 2023 came from his successful acting career, wise investments, and unwavering advocation for Parkinson’s research.
From his early life and iconic roles in the entertainment industry to investments and philanthropy, let’s explore the secrets behind Fox's impressive wealth.
June 9, 1961
Canadian-American born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Became a millionaire at
Sources of wealth
Startups, royalties, real estate
Born Michael Andrew Fox, our beloved Canadian-American actor grew up in a humble Canadian family, with his father, William Fox, a retired police officer, and his mother, Phyllis Fox, a homemaker. Fox attended Burnaby Central Secondary School, and it was during these early years, he discovered his passion for acting and decided to chase the bright lights of Hollywood.
At 16, Michael J. Fox embarked on his acting journey, captivating audiences in the Canadian television series Leo and Me, a remarkable start to his illustrious career.
His journey to stardom came when Fox moved to the USA, making his American television debut in the TV movie Letters from Frank. It wasn’t long before he landed his first film role in the comedy Midnight Madness. Hungry for success, Fox began to strive for that big break, which finally arrived when he was cast as the lovable and mischievous Alex P. Keaton in the hit television series Family Ties.
Family Ties was a game-changer for Fox, earning him fame, three Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe Award for his outstanding performance. But Fox’s success didn’t stop there. In 1985, he scored the iconic role of Marty McFly in the classic science fiction comedy Back to the Future. The movie was the ultimate catalyst for Michael J. Fox's economic triumph.
The film's phenomenal success grossed a staggering $389 million worldwide, while its sequels brought in $332 million and $245 million, respectively. Iconic actor Michael reaped substantial financial rewards from the trilogy. Fox earned $250,000 for the initial installment, and his fortunes soared even higher with a hefty $5 million paycheck for the sequels.
Fox’s memorable performances in Family Ties and Back to the Future catapulted him to fame and fortune, opening doors to numerous opportunities and endorsements.
Fox’s acting career boasts a diverse range of roles, not just in movies but also on television. He continued to shine in shows like Spin City, for which he won three Golden Globe Awards and another Emmy Award.
Did you know that Fox is also a voice actor in various animated films and video games? That’s right, he voiced characters in projects like Phineas and Ferb, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and even the Back to the Future video game.
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, Fox’s determination to continue working in the film industry is inspirational. His ability to entertain and bring joy to millions of fans worldwide has secured him a special place in Hollywood. And with five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award under his belt, it’s safe to say that his acting career has been a major success.
Apart from the iconic Back to the Future trilogy, Fox starred in several other blockbuster movies, significantly boosting his net worth. His role as the high school werewolf in Teen Wolf captured the hearts of many, while his performance in Stuart Little as the voice of the lovable mouse further expanded his repertoire.
Another notable movie in Fox’s career is Doc Hollywood, where he played a big-city doctor stranded in a small town. Through these memorable roles and many more, Fox has proven time and again that he is a versatile and talented actor, earning him a well-deserved spot among Hollywood’s elite.
In addition to his movie roles, Fox’s television career has been nothing short of impressive, making him a favorite male television performer for many.
After his success in Family Ties and the popular comedy series Spin City, Fox later made guest appearances in various TV series, such as The Good Wife, showcasing his incredible acting talent despite his battle with Parkinson’s disease. His perseverance and dedication to his craft have undoubtedly contributed to his net worth, proving that in many ways, Fox won.
Fox’s career took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at 29. Despite the challenges this diagnosis posed, Fox continued to work in the film industry until worsening health forced him to retire from acting in 2020.
However, his battle with Parkinson’s disease did not deter him from becoming an advocate for the cause. In 1998, Fox bravely disclosed his diagnosis publicly and became a cheerleader for people living with Parkinson’s disease.
The retired actor founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which supports Parkinson’s treatment research programs. His dedication to finding a cure for Parkinson’s and improving therapies for those affected by the condition is truly inspiring, just like the support he receives from his wife, Tracy Pollan.
Apart from his successful acting career, Fox has made some smart investments that have contributed to his impressive net worth. He has focused on his Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, as well as real estate properties and book sales.
Let’s look a closer at these investments and how they contributed to Fox’s wealth.
Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) provides non-dilutive funding to early-stage studies to develop new treatments for Parkinson's disease. With over $1 billion in funding, Michael Fox's Foundation helps attract more funds and strategic collaborators to advance therapies through later-stage clinical testing, regulatory review, and commercialization.
Several MJFF-funded companies have received follow-on funding and achieved significant milestones. For example, biotech Civitas, which received $1.3 million from MJFF, was acquired by Acorda for $525 million after multiple rounds of venture funding. Another company, Cynapsus, received nearly $1 million from MJFF and was later acquired by Sunovion for $624 million.
These success stories demonstrate the impact of MJFF's early investment in de-risking projects and attracting further funding and partnerships. In addition to funding early-stage studies, MJFF also invests in various companies.
They have made 54 investments, with their most recent investment being in Ventus Therapeutics for $150,000. MJFF has also made 13 diversity investments, supporting companies founded or led by women. These investments aim to promote diversity and inclusion in Parkinson's disease research and development.
Fox has been quite the foxy investor, with a diverse real estate portfolio of different properties, from his luxurious Quogue residence to his stunning New York City apartment.
In a true rollercoaster of real estate adventures, he purchased a six-bedroom home in Quogue, Southampton, New York, for $6.3 million in 2008, only to sell it for a slightly lesser $6.1 million in 2021.
Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan bought their Quogue home for $6.3 million in 2008 but sold it for $6.1 million in 2021.
But let's not forget his sophisticated New York City apartment. With views of Central Park that could make anyone swoon, Michael and Tracy opened their doors to the public in 2012, revealing their impeccable interior design.
In 1997, they built a dreamy estate on 80 acres of land in New England inspired by Michael's childhood memory of a majestic estate in Canada. But in a shocking twist, they put their cherished country house on the market in 2016 for $4.3 million.
Maybe they wanted to try out the nomadic lifestyle or were aiming for a new adventure. We'll never know, but one thing's certain—Michael J. Fox knows how to make a move in the real estate game.
Fox’s authorship of several books also played a role in increasing his net worth. He has published four books, including Lucky Man: A Memoir in 2002.
Two other works are his 2009 book Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned published in 2010.
In 2020, the beloved actor wrote his latest book No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.
These books have not only provided Fox with an additional source of income but have also given his fans a deeper insight into his life, struggles, and achievements. Through his books, Fox has shared his experiences and wisdom, inspiring readers worldwide to remain optimistic and resilient in the face of adversity.
Michael J. Fox has made a fortune from his roles in iconic films and television series, such as Back to the Future, Family Ties, and Spin City. With an estimated net worth of $65 million at the peak of his career, it’s clear that Fox is no stranger to success when it comes to making money. Fox has used his success to become a philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to Parkinson’s research.
Michael J. Fox earned $250,000 for his role as Marty McFly in the first Back to The Future film. That’s in 1985 money—worth around $706,000 today after adjusting for inflation.
Michael J. Fox's estimated net worth is $65 million in 2023.
Michael J. Fox was 29 years old when he received his Parkinson’s diagnosis, making him one of the youngest people to suffer from this debilitating disease.
Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan are proud parents to their four children: his son Sam Michael Fox, twin daughters Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances (born February 15, 1995), and daughter Esmé Annabelle (born November 3, 2001).
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