Just under twenty three years ago, Back To The Future was released and quickly became the biggest film of 1985.

Granted this wasn€™t exactly a vintage year for film, but it€™s $210 million gross at the US box office is impressive nonetheless. The film€™s popularity led to two sequels, filmed back to back and released in 1989 and 1990, which led to us being given one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. In spite of it€™s incestuous tinges, that Disney had deemed too risqué, the original film was a runaway success and is responsible for some great scenes; who can forget Marty€™s performance of Johnny B. Goode to introduce the kids of 1955 to rock €˜n€™ roll - or the vision of €˜Doc€™ Brown hanging from the Hill Valley clock tower, not to mention one of the 80€™s cult images; the time travelling DeLorean?


Back To The Future is a €˜timeless€™ classic, a master class in how to make a popular family comedy that still stands up today. Yet despite the popularity and success of Back To The Future and it€™s sequels, in which most of the original cast reunited, the young cast never quite capitalised on the film€™s success and it seemed like they may themselves have been €œerased from existence€. So just where the hell are the cast of Back To The Future?

€œThe appropriate question is WHEN the hell are they€€

Michael J. Fox

as Marty McFly, Marty McFly Jnr., Marlene McFly and Seamus McFly

Marty McFly, the embodiment of the teenage hero - the bewildered time in our lives where we move from adolescent into adulthood. In the movie, Michael J. Fox gives one of the most charamastic young leading performances of all time and people like Shia LaBeouf should take note of what he did in this movie. A short time after he shot the two sequels, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson€™s Disease but remarkably continued acting and managed to hide Fox his illness until 1998 and continued to star in big movies, including The American President, Mars Attacks! and his last major starring role in Peter Jackson€™s 1996 release The Frighteners.


His last notable on screen lead performance was in the t.v. show Spin City a role for which he won several awards. Since his departure from Spin City his symptons have gotten noticeably worse and making acting pretty much out of the question. Fox has devoted much of his time to being an advocate for Parkinson€™s Disease research and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation to advance Parkinson€™s research through stem cell studies.

€œRoads€? Where we€™re going, we don€™t need€ Roads€€

Christopher Lloyd


Doctor Emmett L. Brown

THEN: Anyone who€™s seen Back To The Future has at some point probably attempted an lame impression of €˜Doc€™ Brown. Christopher Lloyd€™s distinctive, gruff voice and brilliantly offbeat performance make Doc Brown one of the most memorable movie characters of all time, as evidenced recently in Knocked Up when Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen make several references to Back To The Future and the €˜Doc€™, including some of those lame Doc impersonations. He was eccentric, lovable... Albert Einstein if he were on crack and his chemistry with Michael J. Fox has given the film the awesome longevity it still has today. NOW: Christopher Lloyd will be 70 this year. Following his role as Doc, Lloyd starred in another much loved 80€™s family smash hit, playing Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Christopher Lloyd returned for both Back To The Future sequels, even having his first screen kiss in Part 3, with the Doc€™s love interest Clara, played by Mary Steenburgen. In the early nineties, Christopher Lloyd continued to appear in family comedies including the dire Hulk Hogan vehicle Suburban Commando, Dennis the Menace in which he played the villain and both Addams Family films as Uncle Fester.


Today he can be seen putting his voice work to good use and Lloyd reprised his role of Doc Brown in O'Neal McKnight's video for Check Your Coat featuring Greg Nice.

€œWhy don€™t you make like a tree€ And get out of here.€

Thomas F. Wilson


Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen and Bufford €˜Mad Dog€™ Tannen

THEN: Back To The Future was Wilson€™s big break and first major screen role, his performance as the various Tannen family members is arguably the turn of the trilogy, especially his portrayal of Biff, the character that fans love to hate, the greatest bully in screen history, you can always bank on him getting his comeuppance in an unpleasant way, usually at the hands of a pile of manure.

Wilson returned for both sequels and has even appeared with Christopher Lloyd for Back To The Future: The Ride at Universal Studios theme park, as well as providing voices for various Tannen family members in Back To The Future: The Animated Series.


NOW: Following the climax of the trilogy in 1990, Wilson branched out into voice-over work, lending his vocals to several computer games and animated series€™. A born again Christian, Wilson has continued to act and do voiceover work into the new millennium on several TV shows and films but he will make his big screen return in Steven Soderbergh€™s The Informant alongside Matt Damon next year.

Lea Thompson


Lorraine Baines-McFly and Maggie McFly

THEN: Lea Thompson carried the vulnerability needed to play Lorraine Baines-McFly, both the mother and at times love interest of Marty McFly in Back To The Future and after roles in All the Right Moves and Red Dawn prior to the movie, it seemed like she was going to stay around for a while.


NOW: But her career just never took off the way Fox's did. Bad career choices would lead her into starring in contenders for two of the worst films of all time; SpaceCamp and Howard The Duck. For most of the 90's and this decade, Thompson has spent her time in TV movies and eroding away on the occasional guest spots on TV series€™.

€œLast night, Darth Vader came down from Planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn€™t take Lorraine out he€™d melt my brain€€

Crispin Glover/Jeffrey Weissman


George McFly

THEN:Crispin Glover played the goofball George McFly to perfection, often stealing scenes in the movie from his co-stars. As I have aged, I have come to appreciate his performance here more and more, such a great actor.


NOW: Following Back To The Future, Glover chose to play a string of eccentric, quirky characters mainly in indie films but he had a number of high profile supporting rolesas well as big parts in What€™s Eating Gilbert Grape, The People Vs. Larry Flynt and Nurse Betty. Since the turn of the century, Glover has appeared as The Creepy Thin Man in both Charlie€™s Angels films and has most recently been seen taking off his former co-star Johnny Depp€™s turn as Willy Wonka in the spoof Epic Movie. He also appeared, using performance capture, as the monster Grendel in Beowulf, in which he reunited with his Back To The Future director Robert Zemeckis after two decades. Often under-rated, Crispin Glover has built up a cult following over the years, not just due to the eclectic mix of characters he has chosen to play on screen. For many because of his convincing eccentricity on film he was a firm fan favourite for the role of The Joker in The Dark Knight - a part which eventually went to Heath Ledger but as recently voiced by OWF fans, he would be very welcome as The Riddler in any potential future sequel.

Claudia Wells


Jennifer Parker

THEN: Claudia played Marty's first girlfriend but her limited acting ability meant short screentime anda forgettable throw-a-way performance.


(pictured sourced via Marty Edwards -

NOW: After her big break in 1985 with Back to the Future, Claudia Wells went on to star in the short lived TV series Fast Times that was derived from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, however this was to be her last screen appearance until 1996€™s indie Still Waters Burn. She declined the chance to return for the two Back To The Future sequels due to personal reasons and all but quit acting all together.

James Tolkan


Mr. Strickland and Marshall Strickland

THEN: James Tolkan was first choice when it came to casting the hard-nosed disciplinarian Mr. Strickland. As principal of Marty McFly€™s high school, Strickland had a rather acute dislike of all things McFly, stemming back to George€™s time at the school. Tolkan returned as Strickland in Part 2 and in Part 3 played Marshall Strickland, sheriff of Hill Valley 1885 and grandfather of the Strickland of 1955/1985. NOW: Other than Back To The Future, his most recognised role is that of take-no-shit Commander Tom €˜Stinger€™ Jordan in Top Gun. As well as returning for both Back To The Future sequels, Tolkan also appeared (memorably) in Masters Of The Universe as a hard nosed and pissed off detective, Dick Tracy, Woody Allen€™s Love & Death and somewhat less impressively, Problem Child 2.


A ridiculous €˜fact€™ on Wikipedia, that deserves mentioning for it€™s utter nonsensicalness is that James Tolkan is one of only a few actors to have appeared with a bald head in every film they€™ve made, I€™d love to know who came up with that one and more importantly; who these other €˜chosen few€™ actors are. Currently aged 76, Tolkan has all but retired, his most recent screen appearance was 2006€™s crime drama Heavens Fall. This article was a join collaboration between Matt Holmes and Gareth Bunkham. Please comment if you read and enjoyed the article as that's the only way we will know if we should continue doing them.

You can't put me in a box.