When I think of TV I grew up on, certain shows come immediately to mind. Family Ties is one of them. Week after week viewers like me sat in family rooms across the country to see what the Keatons had in store for America. It was rarely a let down. Even today, I'm fairly certain I could sing the theme song along with them.
With love, laughter, and tears, the Keatons entertained us with their different viewpoints that we could all relate to so well. Mom and Dad aka Steven and Elise were baby-booming liberals and ex hippies, while older kids Alex and Mallory embraced the conservative Republican views of the Reagan era.
Family Ties was grounded in comedy, but also tackled intense issues such as alcoholism, incest, and death. “The show was more focused on getting Humanitas Awards than Emmys,” co-star Justine Bateman toldEntertainment Weekly in 2015. “I don’t know if there was anything the [writers] wanted to do that the network said no to.”
There was a time when the Keatons were 'America's Family.'
But where are this all star cast today? Let’s have a look at where the rest of the cast is today.
Michael Gross – Steven Keaton
Steven Keaton will always be a nerdy architect to me. He just couldn’t get his groovy head out of the ‘60s, but that’s what made him so lovable and charming.
His other television credits include Boston Legal, How I Met Your Mother, Batman Beyond, ER, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order, and two of its spin-offs: SVU and Criminal Intent. He also appeared on The Young and the Restless as River Baldwin and on Spin City as a therapist to Michael J. Fox's character.
Interestingly enough, Gross is also a passionate railfan with an extensive collection of railroad antiques. Since 2009, Gross has been "celebrity spokesman" for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the host of the B&O Railroad Museum Television Network on YouTube. He is also a member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society.
Meredith Baxter – Elyse Keaton
Meredith Baxter was perhaps best known for her twice-Emmy-nominated role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland on the ’70s network drama Family when she took on the role of free-spirited mother Elyse Keaton on Family Ties.
In 2005, Meredith began appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company. In 2006, she temporarily co-hosted—with Matt Lauer—Today. In 2007, she made a guest appearance on What About Brian, an ABC drama series. That same year, she also made several appearances as the dying mother of Detective Lilly Rush on Cold Case, a CBS police-procedural series. In recent years, Baxter created a skin-care line called Meredith Baxter Simple Works, which raises funds for Baxter's breast cancer research foundation. She too joined The Young and the Restless as a "charming, intelligent, middle-class woman who has always aspired to a more privileged life than she has had".
Baxter has been married four times and has five children. Baxter said she began her first same-sex relationship in 2002. She stated that finally coming to terms with her sexual orientation opened her eyes to the fact that for many years she knew something was different about her and why her relationships with men had failed. Meredith Baxter says in a new book, 'Untied' that she was a victim of emotional and physical abuse.
Man, I haven't seen Family Ties in years. I always thought Elyse Keaton/Meredith Baxter was the best TV mom. pic.twitter.com/YHrrqTC7As— Geonn Cannon (@GeonnCannon) January 30, 2017
Michael J. Fox – Alex P. Keaton
Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian actor, comedian, author, and film producer with a film and television career spanning from the 1970s. He starred in the Back to the Future trilogy in which he portrayed Marty McFly. He also starred as Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom Spin City. He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 at age 29, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. He partly retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of the disease worsened. He has since become an advocate for research toward finding a cure. He founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation. foundation.
Justine Bateman – Mallory Keaton
Justine was of course known as the superficial daughter Mallory Keaton on Family Ties. Her character highlighted the importance that ’80s teens put on their looks, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Emmys for the role.
Justine then went on to do a string of television movies. She’s made guest-starring turns on Desperate Housewives, Californication, and Psych, and hit the big screen in 1990’s The Closer and 1992’s Deadbolt. She also appeared on her brother Jason Bateman’s show Arrested Development.
Now, Justine is enrolled in UCLA working towards a major in Digital Media Management and Computer Science and often speaks publicly in support of net neutrality. In 2008, she testified before the United States Senate Commerce Committee in it's support.
In 2001, Bateman married Mark Fluent, with whom she has two children.Bateman is a licensed pilot of single-engine planes and a certified scuba diver.
Tina Yothers – Jennifer Keaton
Yothers started acting at just 3 years old in commercials. She had a couple of small TV gigs in cameo roles and a made-for-TV movie before landing the part of tomboy Jennifer Keaton on Family Ties at age 9.
Tina Yothers briefly continued acting once Family Ties wrapped production in 1989, but after a handful of made-for-TV movies, she decided to stop entirely to focus on a music career. She still plays in the band Jaded, alongside her brother, and has returned to acting in some small parts. Yothers and her husband have two children.
Brian Bonsall – Andrew ‘Andy’ Keaton
Born the year before Family Ties began airing, Bonsall was added to the cast in season 5 as the Keaton’s new son, Andy. The role made him a go-to child star of the ’80s and ’90s, and he won three Young Artist Awards for it.
Mainly finding success as a child actor, Bonsall retired from acting altogether in 1995 and pursued a career in music, forming the band Late Bloomers. Aside from being seen on the stage, he has made several media appearances in the form of various arrests for substance abuse troubles.
Marc Price – Irwin ‘Skippy’ Handelman
With a deep love for all things Mallory, who could forget this bumbling neighbor? Except for a few film roles, Price has moved behind the spotlight as a writer/producer for several TV projects. He also developed a passion for stand-up comedy, and appeared on Last Comic Standing in 2006.
Scott Valentine – Nick Moore
Playing Nick Moore, the Sylvester Stallone-esque boyfriend of Mallory, Scott Valentine appeared on 43 episodes of 'Family Ties' in the '80s. I think we all remember some of his iconic scenes.
Valentine's success as Nick Moore on Family Ties led to three separate spin-offs. The first starred Valentine and actor Herschel Bernardi called Taking It Home. Filming was canceled when Bernardi died in 1986. The second spin-off placed Valentine's character in a daycare center. The third was a pilot episode for a spin-off titled The Art of Being Nick; the episode was aired once and co-starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus. "It came in number two and they still didn't pick it up," recalled Valentine. He now serves as the Executive Director at investment firm Excelsior Capital Partner.