‘Family Ties’: What Happened to the Stars of the Iconic Series

“Family Ties” was a beloved sitcom that graced television screens from 1982 to 1989, running for seven successful seasons. Following the conclusion of the show, the stars embarked on diverse paths, with journeys ranging from legal troubles, changes in sexual orientation after multiple marriages, to near-life-ruining experiences. However, amidst the challenges, some cast members found success in the entertainment industry.

The American sitcom focused on the Keaton family, led by ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, along with their children Alex, Mallory, Jennifer, and Andrew. The series provided a humorous exploration of their lives in a conventional suburban setting, despite their differing personalities.

Similar to many impactful sitcoms, “Family Ties” played a crucial role in shaping the careers of its cast. It propelled some actors to greater heights while prompting others to exit the industry, facing various challenges and life changes. Over 30 years since the show concluded, here’s a glimpse into the lives of its stars.

1. Justine Bateman as Mallory Keaton

Justine Bateman | Source: Getty Images

Following her time on “Family Ties,” Justine Bateman continued to build a multifaceted career. In addition to her acting endeavors in various projects, she expanded her horizons into directing and writing. Notably, she chose to pursue higher education, enrolling at the University of California Los Angeles in her 40s to study Digital Marketing Management and Computer Science.

In 2021, Bateman achieved a significant milestone by directing her first feature film, titled “Violet.” Simultaneously, she authored a book delving into the challenges of growing up in the spotlight, earning praise for its candidness.

Bateman faced public scrutiny regarding her appearance, with some criticizing her for looking older. In response, the actress, who was only in her early 40s at the time, confidently addressed the criticism. She asserted that she found beauty in her natural aging process, emphasizing that her face reflected her true self. Unfazed by external opinions, Bateman embraced her authenticity and expressed contentment with her appearance.

2. Michael Gross as Steven Keaton

Michael Gross | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/Michael Gross

Michael Gross, who continued acting after his role on “Family Ties,” is an avid model train enthusiast. Fans may also recognize him for the roles he played in the hit shows “Law & Order,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Gross frequently refers to his wife as his “girlfriend” on his social media platforms. Despite this playful terminology, a visit to her Instagram page clarifies that she is indeed married to the actor. Gross consistently shares pictures of the couple on his social media accounts, providing glimpses into their married life.

3. Meredith Baxter as Elyse Keaton

Meredith Baxter | Source: Getty Images

After the conclusion of “Family Ties,” Meredith Baxter experienced various developments in her personal and professional life. Throughout the 1990s, she took on roles in 13 TV movies and a feature film. Alongside her career, she navigated three marriages and welcomed five children into her life before eventually publicly identifying as a lesbian. She subsequently entered into a relationship with a younger partner.

In more recent years, Baxter penned a memoir titled “Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering,” in which she reflected on her time on the sitcom and shared insights into her life journey. Additionally, a significant milestone was her marriage to her longtime partner, Nancy Locke, in an intimate celebration in 2013.

Meredith Baxter and partner Nancy Locke at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s “An Evening with Women” gala in Beverly Hills, California in 2013 | Source: Getty Images

4. Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton

Michael J. Fox | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox not only attributes his rise to fame to “Family Ties” but also credits the sitcom for sparking a romance in his life. He initiated a relationship with Tracy Pollan, his co-star who portrayed Ellen Reed in the show, and their connection blossomed into a lifelong love story after meeting on set.

5. Tina Yothers as Jennifer Keaton

Tina Yothers | Source: Getty Images | Youtube.com/Daily Blast LIVE

After the conclusion of “Family Ties,” Tina Yothers redirected her attention towards music. Collaborating with her brother Cory, she formed a band named “Jaded,” keeping her engaged in the late 1990s.

In 2008, Tina Yothers reappeared in the public eye as a participant in season 6 of “Celebrity Fit Club.” Her motivation for joining the show was centered around weight loss after the births of her children, Lillian Grace and Robert Jake, in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

Fans had to wait until four years later to catch another glimpse of her when she and her husband, Robert Kaiser, were featured in an episode of the reality series “Celebrity Wife Swap.”

6. Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed

Tracy Pollan | Source: Getty Images

Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox are proud parents to four children, whom they welcomed after getting married in July 1988. The Fox family includes Sam, Esmé, and twins Aquinna and Schuyler, who marked their 28th birthday in February 2023.

7. Scott Valentine as Nick Moore

Scott Valentine | Source: Getty Images

Scott Valentine transitioned from the entertainment industry to concentrate on business. Currently serving as the managing director of Exelcior Capital Partners, he plays a role in a boutique investment firm with a focus on renewable and sustainable energy.

8. Brian Bonsall as Andy Keaton

Brian Bonsall | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/Brian Bonsall

Brian Bonsall faced significant challenges after “Family Ties,” experiencing multiple arrests in Colorado for assault charges and a drunk driving charge. However, he managed to make a positive turnaround in his life when he married his girlfriend Courtney in 2017. The couple welcomed their first child, Oliver, in 2019, and the birth of his son had a transformative impact on the troubled former child star, influencing a positive change in his lifestyle.

Brian Bonsall | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/Brian Bonsall

9. Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman

Marc Price | Getty Images | Twitter.com/Marc Price

After “Family Ties,” Marc Price decided to shift his focus to a career behind the camera, dedicating himself to writing and producing for various TV shows. Additionally, he pursued a career as a stand-up comedian when he’s not engaged in writing activities.

10. Courteney Cox as Lauren Miller

Courteney Cox | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox emerged as one of the most successful actors in the “Family Ties” cast, accumulating an estimated net worth of $150 million, primarily attributed to her iconic role in the beloved TV series “Friends.” Despite her multimillionaire status, she takes pride in being a dedicated homemaker, expressing her love for cooking and often preparing meals for her family and friends whenever the opportunity arises.

11. Geena Davis as Karen Nicholson

Geena Davis | Source: Getty Images

Geena Davis, known for her role as the goofy housekeeper on “Family Ties,” continued her acting career until 2004. In that year, she founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with the mission of promoting the creation of more diverse and significant roles for women in Hollywood.

Despite her successful career, Davis didn’t become a mother until she was in her forties. She expressed gratitude for this timing, as it allowed her to be more actively involved in her children’s lives. Now a mother of three, Davis has balanced her advocacy work with her family commitments.

12. Tom Hanks as Ned Donnelly

Tom Hanks | Source: Getty Images

Tom Hanks, who portrayed Elyse Keaton’s younger brother in the first two seasons of “Family Ties,” has become one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors, starring in over 80 feature films during his four-decade career. The A-list actor has expressed no intentions of retiring from the industry anytime soon.

Hanks has been happily married to Rita Wilson for over 34 years, and the couple has four children: Colin, Truman, Chet, and Elizabeth Ann. They also proudly embrace their roles as grandparents to a biracial granddaughter named Machaiah.

Fans of “Family Ties” continue to follow the lives of their favorite stars through the years, leveraging the accessibility of social media to stay updated on their favorite actors’ personal and professional endeavors.