Go Back in Time With The Cast of ‘Back to the Future’ & Where They Are Now

Photo Courtesy Everett Collection

Hop in your DeLorean, gun it to 88 mph and head back to July 1985, when all anyone could talk about was Robert Zemeckis’ instant blockbuster Back to the Future. The time-travel comedy saw teenager Marty McFly stuck in the past, forced to save his own parents’ relationship and find a way home. The film’s sweetly comic mix of 1980s cool with ’50s nostalgia struck a major chord with audiences, earning two sequels and stardom for its now-legendary cast.

Michael J. Fox (62)

FAMILY TIES, Michael J. Fox, (Season 6), 1982-1989

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for The Michael J. Fox Foundation; Tony Costa/NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

Getting his start on the sitcom Family Ties, this ’80s heartthrob dominated the silver screen as the iconic Marty McFly and became a 1990s TV star with Spin City. He also struck gold offscreen in his enduring love story with actress Tracy Pollan. In 1998, he revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis; in 2020, he released his memoir No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality; and last year he received a special Oscar for his efforts fighting the disease which he continues to do. He recently opened up on what could get him to return to acting.

Christopher Lloyd (85)

Back To The Future, Christopher Lloyd, 1985, 2023

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images; Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Best known as scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, the always-working Christopher Lloyd made his film debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestHe won two Emmys as wild-eyed Reverend Jim “Iggy” Ignatowski on Taxi, and appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and two Addams Family films. He recently in an episode of The Mandalorian’s third season and has several other projects in production. Fans can meet the 85-year-old at various fan cons as he has been making the rounds there too, sometimes with Michael J. Fox!

Lea Thompson (62) 

Lea Thompson, Back to the Future

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Before playing Lorraine McFly, Thompson had roles in Jaws 3-DAll the Right Moves and Red Dawn. She starred in flop-turned-cult classic Howard the Duck, as the title character in ’90s sitcom Caroline in the City and ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. A married mom of two, she’s expanded her directing resumé, and recently helmed Star Trek: Picard, Resident Alien and Will Trent and starred in the CW series The Spencer Sisters. She also sometimes hits the fan con circuit with fellow castmates.

Crispin Glover (60)

Crispin Glover, Back to the Future cast

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; MCA/Courtesy Everett Collection

Deciding not to return as George McFly in the sequels, Crispin Glover instead made a career of playing eccentrics: Andy Warhol in The Doors, the Thin Man in two Charlie’s Angels films, and Grendel in Beowulf. He recently played Mr. World in American Gods and appeared in an episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities and has been under the radar since.

Huey Lewis (73)

Huey Lewis, Back to the Future

(Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for The Recording Academy )

Who could forget Huey Lewis and the News’ smash 1983 album Sports? Soon after, the rocker’s Power of Love was featured prominently in Back to the Future, and Lewis had a cameo. In 2018, Lewis revealed that he could no longer perform due to hearing loss from Ménière’s disease, but he played himself in a 2021 episode of The Blacklist and just launched a Broadway play titled “The Heart of Rock ‘n Roll.” He is also a very passionate golfer. Fore!

Thomas F. Wilson (65)

Thomas F. Wilson, Back to the Future

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Wilson played Biff Tannen, the bully who came between Marty trying to unite his parents and save the day. He came back in the other sequels as Biff and most notably has done voiceover work for the SpongeBob Squarepants franchise. He’s also got a podcast and a stand-up comedy career, usually coming back to his Back to the Future roots as he sings “Biff’s Question Song” about all of the most frequent questions he’s been asked about the films.

Claudia Wells (57)

Claudia Wells, Back to the Future

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection; Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Wells played Marty McFly’s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker. Although she was replaced by Elisabeth Shue in the sequels, she reprised her role as Jennifer in the Back to the Future video games. After the ’80s, she took a break from Hollywood but returned in the late 2000s in films such as Starship: Rising, Vitals, and Bottle Monster. She currently runs a resale clothing shop for men.

Billy Zane (58)

Billy Zane, Back to the Future

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection; Jerod Harris/Getty Images for the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Fun fact: this was Billy Zane’s very first film role as one of Biff’s cronies, Match. He appeared in the sequel and went on to star in the 1997 smash hit Titanic. His most recent role was an appearance in several episodes of The Boys. These days he mostly concentrates on his art.

1980s Top Summer Blockbusters
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1980s Top Summer Blockbusters

July 2019

Celebrate the biggest summer movies of the ’80s, when moviegoing morphed from mere entertainment to blockbuster events.

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