From Cute to Convict: 'Family Ties' Star Now

Now 63, Gross went on to star as Burt Gummer in the "Tremors" movies in the early 90s. He also guest-starred on other sitcoms, including "Spin City," where he reunited with Fox, the show's star, by playing his therapist.

Showing he hadn't lost his liberal Steven Keaton ways, Gross campaigned with Baxter for Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 election.

Meredith Baxter

Off the set, Baxter's own family ties were strained. Divorced three times, she decided to try dating women seven years ago and says her entire world view changed.

"I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition," Baxter said recently on the "Today" show. "I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening."

Before her public declaration, Baxter shared the news of her relationship with Nancy Locke -- a contractor she met through mutual friends -- with her on-screen "Family Ties" family and her real life relatives, including her five children.

As for her professional life, Baxter, now 63, has become a staple of the TV movie circuit. She's received Emmy nominations for her roles in such Lifetime movie classics as "A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story," and "Other Mothers."

Michael J. Fox

"Family Ties" creator Goldberg said soon after the show started, it became clear that Fox's character Alex was becoming the star. It was a lucky break for Fox, who had been prepared to quit acting and return to his native Canada if he didn't get the part.

"I was eating cardboard," he told Lauer. "I was playing duck-the-landlord. It was bad. It was bad."

Goldberg told the "Today" show he originally wanted to cast Matthew Broderick in the role of Alex and rejected Fox because he thought he was too much of a smart aleck, but his production assistant nagged him into bringing Fox back for a second audition.

The role changed Fox's life. "To be given a second family just out of nowhere. You're just blessed with these people," Fox told "Today."

He also met his real life wife Tracy Pollan on the set when she played Alex's girlfriend. They've been married since 1988 and have four children.

Of all the show's stars, Fox achieved the most commercial success. Following the show, he starred in the hugely successful "Back to the Future" movies and later starred in his own sitcom, "Spin City," which Goldberg also produced.

Now 47, Fox is perhaps best known for his continuing struggle with Parkinson's disease, which was diagnosed in 1991. He started his own research foundation, has lobbied Congress for stem cell research and recently published a book about being an incurable optimist.

"Your happiness grows in direct proportion to your acceptance and in inverse proportion to your expectations," Fox told ABC News' Diane Sawyer. "Acceptance doesn't really mean you're resigned to it. It just means acknowledging that that's what it is."

Justine Bateman

Soon after the show ended, Bateman admitted she was suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Now 43, Bateman helps girls diagnosed with the same disorder.

Steering clear of the limelight since "Family Ties," Bateman has appeared in only minor TV roles, guest-starring in her brother Jason's critically acclaimed show, "Arrested Development."

A converted Christian, Bateman has been married since 2001 and has two children. Like her character Mallory, she now has her own fashion design company.

Tina Yothers

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