Michael J. Fox is about to start a new chapter in his television career, but he paused at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards to recall the man who largely made that career.
The title star of “The Michael J. Fox Show” — premiering Thursday (Sept. 26) on NBC — remembered Gary David Goldberg, the writer-producer who created the hit 1980s sitcom “Family Ties,” at Sunday’s (Sept. 22) event.
“He was my mentor, benefactor, second father, beloved friend,” Fox said of Goldberg, who initially turned him down for the role of politically minded teen Alex P. Keaton before Fox auditioned a second time.
The “generous spirit” and “great laugh” of Goldberg — whose shows ended with a production-company logo featuring his dog and the line, “Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog!”– were among the qualities cited by Fox.
In fact, many others also heard Goldberg’s laugh, even if they didn’t know it at the time. Fox said he often could hear it “not in my head, but on the soundtrack,” since Goldberg frequently expressed his mirth audibly during “Family Ties” tapings. That type of benediction, Fox noted, “meant the world to all of us.”
Fox would work again with Goldberg on “Spin City,” and as much as he retains big appreciation for his “mentor’s” talent, much more personal qualities are what five-time Emmy winner Fox has the strongest memories of.
Goldberg’s “laughter, approval and friendship,” he concluded, “are what I miss most of all.”