Tracy Pollan knew Michael J. Fox was worth dating after watching Back to the Future

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Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox, who have been married 31 years(!), were on The Tonight Show promoting her new cookbook, called Mostly Plants. She explained that she’s a flexitarian, which means that she does eat meat and fish but tries to mostly eat plants and grains. I might be one of those, I like that term, as I try to eat less meat and fish. Tracy used to be a vegetarian but wasn’t getting enough protein and nutrients during her second pregnancy so she made an exception. Michael also discussed his foundation, which was founded in 2000 and has raised 800 million for Parkinson’s research! He cracked some jokes and he looks like he’s doing great. They showed a photo of the first time they met, on the set of Family Ties, and Tracy explained how she knew she wanted to date Michael.

I had been asked to screen test for Family Ties, but I had never watched the show. I actually had heard his name. So Back To The Future had just come out and I thought ‘I better go watch it because I have no idea who he is.’ So I went by myself, I sat down at the theater on 86th street and I saw it and I thought ‘Oh this guy actually like maybe has a future.’

Can you imagine seeing a guy starring in a movie and then getting to date him? That would be so cool! Back to the Future and Michael J Fox were the epitome of cool, I remember it well. Tracy and Michael smiled at each other when Fallon said they’d been together 30 years and seemed to still be sweet on each other. Fallon asked them if they had any secrets and Michael said “keep the sex dirty and the fights clean,” which I’ve heard before! Then they joked that they were embarrassing their kids in the audience, who are 17, 24 and 29. Their daughters Esme and Schuyler are the youngest and son Sam was their first.

Michael also admitted that he offends Tracy, which is a good cook obviously, by putting salt and pepper on her food before he tastes it. That is annoying when you cook a meal and someone puts salt and pepper on before they taste it, but at least you know that’s what they always do and isn’t the food. I’m so glad to see they’re doing well. Michael is doing so much for Parkinson’s research and awareness, he’s really changed the conversation around that disease and helped further research.

Look how cute they are together!

Here’s that interview:




photos credit: WENN, Getty and screenshot from YouTube

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35 Responses to “Tracy Pollan knew Michael J. Fox was worth dating after watching Back to the Future”

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  1. Monicack says:

    Awww. Always loved them.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      ME TOO!

      I remember being SO jealous of her when they first started dating. lol like, “He’s MINE, dammit!”

  2. Darla says:

    I’ve never heard that before, but it’s a good one. I actually think it’s excellent relationship advice.

  3. Morrissey says:

    Just… Oh my goodness. The timing of this post! I watched Back to the Future with my kids for the first time tonight. It just finished, like, thirty minutes ago (I’m in Australia and it’s school holidays) and I haven’t even got the kids in bed yet because they’re still hyped from watching it. Five year old’s favourite part? ‘When the daddy punched Biff!’

    Sorry, i just love when these coincidences happen!

    • Kitten says:

      Aw that’s adorable. I loved the whole BTTF trilogy so it warms my heart to hear that kids today still enjoy it.

    • manda says:

      I saw the movie in the theater when I was like 8, and it is still, hands down, my favorite movie of all time! If I had kids, would totally share it with them. Such a fun movie!

      • whatWHAT? says:

        I saw it in the theaters, too…

        ON THE DAY HE GOES BACK IN TIME. 10/26/85.

        like, the date appears on the screen in the DeLorean, and my mother leaned over and whispered “isn’t that TODAY?!” such an awesome coincidence for me seeing it as a kid.

      • Some chick says:

        Love it! Great work, Mama What!

        Even though I was the age for it, I was never into MJF, all those Molly Ringwald movies (ok except Breakfast Club, heh) etc, etc. But over the years, Michael has really grown on me. He seems like a real mensch!

        And I will 100% sign off on his relationship advice. <3 <3 <3

        PS: I think they are both dreamy!

    • Esmom says:

      My kids loved Back to the Future, too. Loved it. Unlike the John Hughes movies I thought they might enjoy but did not. With the exception of Home Alone.

      • Some chick says:

        A lot of the Hughes movies are really problematic. Sixteen Candles, ugh! If your kids didn’t like that one, good for them. (Sorry.)

    • Nikki says:


  4. stormsmama says:

    I had a major Michael J Fox revisit about a month ago when I found out my pregnancy wasn’t viable (heartbeat stopped at 12w)…i got very nostalgic for days when things were simple and safe (ie when i was a kid) so I watched Secret of My Success (my favorite), Back to the future 1,2,3 and Doc Hollywood 🙂
    I love them
    Just realized she and Michael Pollan are bro and sister

  5. Snazzy says:

    I love them so much

  6. CharliePenn says:

    Faithful and happy lifelong marriage DO EXIST! They give me hope in a world full of foolery!

  7. NYC_girl says:

    I loved Family Ties. It came on after Cosby Show and before Cheers and LA Law Thursday nights. That was the best night for tv! And I remember when she was on the show for a few episodes – they were so cute. He is awesome; I keep applying for jobs at the Foundation… 🤞

  8. Anne says:

    Tracy used to come into a shop I used to work at on Madison Ave. She was always a warm, friendly person. Just chill and genuine. Love her.

  9. CMChat says:

    Is it me, or does he seem better? As in, we are seeing the effects of better medicine as a result of all the research? In the past I’ve sometimes hesitated to watch the latest video clips for fear of seeing his physical deterioration. I think he looks and sounds great! What a tremendous effort by him and Tracy. ❤️

  10. Kaye says:

    As far as salting things before tasting them, I’ve almost always (~95%) been able to tell by smelling something whether it needed salt or not. I’ve been told that’s weird, but it’s true.

  11. Anon says:

    We have a dear friend with Parkinson’s, it is heartbreaking to watch him decline and he has some of the best doctors’ in the US (he has one who treated Muhammad Ali later in his life)

    Michael has done more for Parkinson’s research than you can ever imagine……

    • Christin says:

      Michael could have simply retired and disappeared from public life once his PD became more evident.

      My father battled PD from the time he retired, and it is a terrible, progressive disease. I kept up with MJF’s foundation news, in part because they seem to be trying to find effective treatment.

  12. tealily says:

    I remember my older cousin had the biggest crush on him when we were kids. He was all she would ever talk about. I was too little at the time to see the draw (I mean, he was a grown up), but I knew he was C-O-O-L. Glad to hear he’s doing well. He’s always seemed like a good guy.

  13. holly hobby says:

    I actually remember her in those episodes of Family Ties. They had really great chemistry. I also remember at the time, she was in a long term relationship with Kevin Bacon. He was with Nancy McKeon – yeah that’s preinternet gossip for you folks out there.

    They only had 3 kids. A boy and twin girls so what’s with the disparate ages (29, 24 17?) in this article?

    • Andie says:

      I think she has the names and ages wrong. Their son is the oldest, the twins Aquinnah and Schuyler are in the middle, and their youngest is named Esme.

  14. Sue Denim says:

    John Mulaney’s take on Back to the Future is worth googling for a smile, and good for them, they have always seemed like a lovely, grounded couple, and have handled his illness with such grace.

    • North of Boston says:

      I remember reading that after he was diagnosed, he kind of regressed, working too hard and drinking heavily and was sort of spiraling out of control. She walked into a room and found him passed out on the couch, with a spilled beer next to him. He woke up and saw her, and she just was like “Really? THIS is how you’re going to deal with things?” She wasn’t angry, just really disappointed. He said it was a wake up call for him, realizing he was numbing himself and distancing himself from his family…and he stopped drinking, and started taking care of himself after that. Only then were they able to face things head on and deal with it.

  15. Raina says:

    I love them and back to future…even part 3. Love all of it.
    That said. Wtf is a flexitarian. Means flexible, right? Is this a new way of saying you eat everything but prefer certain foods? I call it: Taste.
    Why is everything labeled now??
    Ok. Fine. I’m a mayon-anti-ist. I hate mayonnaise. It’s now a thing.
    My mom was non-onionist

    • Some chick says:

      It doesn’t at all mean eating “everything” but being picky. It has a specific meaning.

      It’s basically being mostly vegetarian, but being flexible about fish/poultry/flesh. Like it says in the post. It’s not made up, it’s a real way that people eat.

      Mr Chick would prefer to be vegetarian, but if a friend spends all day smoking a pork shoulder, you bet he’s going to at least have a little. He also eats sushi occasionally. But mostly he eats rabbit food.

      I like/need more meat than he does. I eat a lot of chicken and some fish, but no pork, and hardly ever beef. I love a good salad (especially with seared ahi on top!) but that does not make me a flexitarian. I’m a picky eater!

      It’s not complicated. Eat what you like! Try not to judge others!

      Everything has been labeled forever, FWIW. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • North of Boston says:

      I think it’s a take on one of the big takeaways from one of her brother Michael’s books.

      “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” So it doesn’t have to be all plants, meat and fish are part of it, but it’s mostly plants.

  16. april says:

    She’s still as gorgeous as ever. I love the way she did the perfect pose for the camera in the last photo.