There’s not much doubt that Michael J. Fox is one of the most beloved entertainers of the past half century. He was Marty McFly and Alex P. Keaton, for God’s sake! But have you ever wondered exactly what that “J” stands for? If you have, well, you might be a little confused to learn it stands for “Andrew.”
Yeah, apparently there’s some wacky Canadian spelling with a silent J or something, I guess. That, or the J was just chosen for arbitrary reasons when he joined the Screen Actors Guild.
When he registered for SAG, there was already a Michael Fox so it was determined he would need to use his middle initial. However, he hated the way “Michael A. Fox” sounded because it felt like he was referring to himself as one hell of a foxy guy. Incidentally, as a sidenote, actress Vivica A. Fox – whose middle name does start with A – realized the same thing but, unlike the man who would be McFly, loved it and decided it was a fun play on words that fit her sexiness.
Anyway, where did the J actually come from? Apparently, from an actor named Michael J. Pollard, a star of stage and screen who had been working since 1959 and who had appeared in Bonnie and Clyde, and who you may remember as Herman, the homeless man who freezes to death in the sewers in the movie Scrooged. Trust me, you’ll recognize him if you see him. I’m not sure if Fox was using the same middle initial as a tribute to his acting, or their shared lack of height, but either way, it works.