Back to the Future Star Michael J. Fox Reveals Touching Story About the Late Elsa Raven

Elsa Raven, the character actress best known to many for her role as the woman who hopes to "Save The Clock Tower" in Back to the Future, passed away last week at age 91. In the film, Raven's "Clocktower Lady" had a pivotal role with her enthusiasm for preserving the Hill Valley clock tower exactly as it was, and it turns out that Raven's real-life enthusiasm carried on long after the film's debut. Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox shared a sweet memory of Raven, reflecting on how Raven's love for the film inspired him.

"It took me a long time to go to any of those Back to the Future conventions or Comic-Con conventions, and when I finally did go, she was there," Fox told USA Today. "It was so great to see her, and she was walking through the crowd and saying, 'Save the clock tower! Save the clock tower!'"

"She was a big part of it," Fox continued. "It still meant something in her life, and it still meant something to the people around her. And that's kind of the movie in a nutshell: It's just you, you have this life, it carries on and it carried on in her. And she really celebrated it. It was a good thing."

Back to the Future screenwriter Bob Gale also opened up about working with Raven and what her role meant to her as well as how she took such a small role and made it into something incredible and memorable.


"She was one of those A-list performers who could turn a small role into a memorable one," Gale told The Hollywood Reporter. "Although she is on screen for probably less than a minute, everyone remembers her. And casting her is an example of director Bob Zemeckis's philosophy that every role is important and can be made memorable. Bob would never save money by hiring a cheaper performer in a small role, a lesson we learned on our first movie: a mediocre day player can ruin a film."

In addition to her role in Back to the Future, Raven had an extensive career that included films such as Twilight Zone: The Movie, the original The Amityville Horror, James Cameron's Titanic, Another You, Indecent Proposal, and In the Line of Fire. On television Raven appeared in shows such as Seinfeld, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The A-Team, General Hospital, Murphy Brown, and Everybody Loves Raymond.