Family Ties was a hit when it began in 1982. The show ran for seven seasons, won three Emmy awards, and one Golden Globe. The program focused on the Keaton family, which consisted of the parents and their four kids.
The sitcom served as a career launchpad for superstar actors like Michael J. Fox and Justine Batemen. Scott Valentine also welcomed an unprecedented level of fame for his portrayal of Nick Moore on the show (boyfriend to Batemen’s character, Mallory).
However, while many fans still remember Valentine’s character with fondness, the actor himself might not agree…
Ran over by a truck
Before his breakthrough on Family Ties, Valentine struggled a lot and suffered from a tragic accident. In 1981, he was run over by a truck in New York City and was dependent on public assistance and Medicaid.
The injury halted his acting career and he spent several years in pain trying to rehabilitate his broken hip and pelvis.
”I had to convince people that I could walk, talk and would not fall down on stage. I remember at one casting meeting that I gott so exasperated that I got up on this woman’s desk and started dancing,” he said in 1992.
Valentine auditioned for the role of Nick Moore in 1985 in what was supposed to be a one-shot appearance. But his character ended up as ”the date that wouldn’t” leave.
In my opinion, Nick and Mallory were great together. To those who don’t know, Scott Valentine had a voice similar to Sylvester Stallone – I always thought he looked and sounded like a young Rambo.
Valentine joined the show in its fourth season as Nick Moore, an off-beat boyfriend to Mallory, the eldest daughter in the Keaton family. Nick was meant to be short-lived as a dumb but warm-hearted counterpart to the show lead, but audiences took to him so well that Valentine actually fulfilled the role for 45 episodes.
Valentine’s success as Nick Moore led to a spin-off series, The Art of Being Nick. It was aired on NBC as a special on August 27, 1987.
Unfortunately, the spin-off never took off. Valentine received boundless attention and support for his work, but he expressed “feeling bad” about the character in retrospect. While many fans still remember Valentine’s character with fondness, the actor himself is inclined to disagree.
”It was a big plus in terms of getting exposure. But very detrimental in people thinking that I was the monosyllabic idiot that I portrayed,” he told Santa Maria Times in 1992.
According to Mental Floss, the dumbness Nick had bothered him.
The actor’s background included studying the artform at several prestigious acting skills, but he cited feeling as though he was hired on the sitcom “so I could grunt on primetime television.” While the character was popular, the actor felt challenged by the simplicity.
“It was a lot of fun, but literally there were times where I only had to utter two guttural utterances in a show and they paid me a bundle of cash for it,” he explained. “I felt bad at times.”
Scott Valentine children
Scott was married to actress Kym Denyse (Fisher) Stephenson between 1985 and 2012. The couple had four sons together; Trevin John (1986), Shayler Stephenson (1988), Jesstin Jay-Owen (1992) and Caden Edward (1998).
Valentine, now 64 years old, no longer acts, and instead manages a hedge fund in his hometown of Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2021, he found love again and married Jennifer Wood (née Malchow), another Saratoga Springs native.
Although Scott is no longer active as an actor, he will definitely be remembered for his outstanding performances in Family Ties and all the other movies he did.
But the main thing we take away from reading about Scott is that he seems like a genuinely good guy. He is far from the Hollywood cliché, something many seem to testify to. Just look at these great anecdotes that some fans shared a few years ago – it says a lot about Scott Valentine!
I love Nick! Scott Valentine is a fantastic actor and he was a great addition to the show.