Michael J. Fox: Back in time
(CBC Still Photo Collection)
Michael J. Fox, then just known as Mike Fox, appeared in Leo and Me
Fox, then 15 years old, played Jamie, the nephew of Leo, who was played by Brent Carver. Leo was an adventurer who had won a yacht in a poker game and had agreed to take on his orphaned nephew. The series focused on the misadventures of the pair, with Leo using his charm and Jamie using his quick-mind to keep ahead of too much trouble.
The sitcom was produced in Vancouver in 1976. It aired in parts of the country in the late-70s but was most widely seen during its 1981 broadcasts.
The 13-episode run was Fox's television acting debut. His role in Leo and Me garnered him some attention as a bright new star and at 18 he moved to Los Angeles where he was offered some roles before eventually landing his breakthrough role on as Alex Keaton on Family Ties
. He went on to star in feature films including Teen Wolf
and the Back to the Future
His long acting career slowed in 1998 when he revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease when he was 30 years old. Following the announcement, he semi-retired from acting and was focused working as an activists for finding a cure for the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. He has also published several books. He was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in May 2011.
Fox's early-onset Parkinson's has spurred some attention in the medical community, where in 2002 it was found that a cluster of cases from the set of Leo and Me
have occurred. Three other individuals who worked on the show have also been diagnosed with Parkinson's, which is above the societal average of 1 in 300.Watch Fox be interviewed on The Hour:
Posted on Aug 3, 2011 6:00:00 AM