What the Cast of 'Back to the Future' Looks like Today
The last installment of the sci-fi comedy cult film trilogy was released nearly 20 years ago. We saw the characters travel back and forth through time, but how has time actually changed the actors that played them?
The “future” in the “Back to the Future” film trilogy (1985/1989/1990) was the year 2015. Now that we have seen further in the future than Doc Brown did, we are sad to admit that it isn’t the slightest as awesome as it was in the movies.
The science-fiction saga directed by Robert Zemeckis (also famous for “Forrest Gump” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Cast Away”) remains one of the most influential films of the 1980’s.
35 years after we met Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and their friends and foes in the first film, this is what has become of the wonderful cast of “Back to the Future.”
THOMAS F. WILSON
60-year-old Wilson did an amazing and often unrecognized work playing the iconic villain Biff Tannen in the trilogy, a bully that serves as nemesis to the McFly family. He also played Biff’s evil Old West ancestor on the third film.
Following the ending of the franchise, Wilson kept working as an actor on film, TV, and the stage.
He has also done stand up comedy and voice work for animated series such as “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” and “The New Batman Adventures.” Wilson is also a skilled painter.
55-year-old Glover played the initially insecure George McFly, Marty’s father, who turns out to be a successful and confident writer after his son travels back in time to the ‘50s and gives him some valuable pieces of advice.
Even though he didn’t return for the second and third installments of the franchise, the production used creative ways to feature his character anyway, reusing footage.
Since his appearance in the first film Glover continued finding success as an actor, working with renowned directors like David Lynch on “Wild at Heart,” and Oliver Stone on “The Doors.” He became a film director in 2005.
53-year-old Wells was the first actress to portray Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer, on the first film. Although she was already an established TV star when she was cast for the role, it did much to boost her career.
Unfortunately, Wells’ mother fell ill around the time for shooting the second film, and the actress had to be left out of the production, with Elizabeth Shue taking over the character from then on.
Wells’ spent most of her time since then retired from acting, but she made a return in 2008 and has kept working on TV and film ever since. She has also voiced her “Back to the Future” character on video games.
55-year-old Shue replaced Wells as Jennifer, including the older version of the character when Marty, Doc, and an unconscious Jennifer travel to 2015.
She continued to lead a rich and prolific career, starring in several acclaimed film roles following her “Back to the Future” appearances, in films like “Soapdish,” “The Saint,” and “Leaving Las Vegas” alongside Nicholas Cage.
57-year-old Thompson played Lorraine, Marty’s mother, one of the most complex roles in the trilogy, with several different versions of the character alternating through the story.
Thompson has led a successful career in film and TV up until recently. She notoriously starred in the drama series “Switched at Birth” from 2011 to 2017.
In 2006 the star debuted as a director with the TV movie “Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall,” and she has directed several episodes of TV shows, such as “The Kids Are Alright” in 2019.
MICHAEL J. FOX
58-year-old Fox played the unlikely hero of the trilogy, Marty McFly, a high school student that travels in time to save his family and his town from disaster with the help of his mentor, Doctor Emmett Brown, known as “Doc.”
While he was already an established actor when he starred in “Back to the Future,” the role turned Fox into an icon and a superstar.
The Canadian-born graciously capitalized on his newfound popularity and starred in several successful films through the second half of the ‘80s. In the ‘90s, he conquered TV audiences with his work in “Spin City.”
Fox’s revealed his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis in 1998, which soon started to affect his career. Nevertheless, Fox has done a lot of work on TV, including playing himself in many opportunities.
The actor has spent years devoted to advocating for Parkinson’s research, founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research” in 2000, currently the largest nonprofit for Parkinson’s drug development in the world.
80-year-old Lloyd played Marty’s much older best friend, mad genius “Doc” Brown, the inventor of a time machine built from a DeLorean, embarking in the most unexpected adventures through time.
He was already a seasoned actor when he was cast in the first film, and he has remained active in both TV and film, nowadays counting more than 200 acting credits, most recently guest-starring in the series “A.P. Bio.”
Lloyd’s most remarkable roles in the big screen include “The Addams Family,” “Dennis the Menace,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
The actor has reprised his role of Dr. Emmett Brown repeatedly over the years, starting with the live-action segments of the “Back to the Future” animated series in 1991.