Scott Valentine Reflects on Playing Mallory’s Boyfriend on ‘Family Ties’: ‘I Felt Bad’ About My Character

In 1982, the series Family Ties premiered and quickly became a hit, gaining widespread popularity overnight. The show follows the story of Steven and Elyse Keaton, two former hippies raising their four children during the Reagan era, has remained a beloved American classic.

Despite their upbringing, the Keaton children have turned out quite differently from their parents. Initially, their eldest child, Alex, is heavily invested in politics and is a strong supporter of Reagan. Furthermore, Mallory, the daughter, is passionate about fashion, while Jennifer is focused on her studies.

The series Family Ties launched the careers of several actors including Michael J. Fox and Justine Bateman, turning them into superstars.

Despite the show’s success, one of the actors, Scott Valentine, revealed that he was not fond of the character he played in the series. Valentine, who portrayed Nick, Mallory’s boyfriend, had his big break through with Family Ties but felt uneasy about his role. The show gained a huge following of fans, but Valentine himself was not one of them.


Nick, the character played by Scott Valentine, was portrayed as an off beat, yet kind-hearted, young man with limited intelligence.

Initially, the character of Nick was only planned to appear in a single episode of Family Ties. However, due to the positive response from the audience, he was featured in 45 episodes, becoming a recurring character on the show. Nick is remembered for being “the date that wouldn’t leave.”

As a result of his success as Nick, Scott Valentine got his own spin-off series, The Art of Being Nick. The show aired on NBC as a special on August 27, 1987, however, it was never picked up for regular series.

Despite his character’s popularity on the show, Scott Valentine revealed that he was unhappy with the portrayal of Nick as a dumb character.

“Scott Valentine said in an interview with Santa Maria Times in 1992, “It was a big plus in terms of getting exposure, but it was detrimental in terms of people thinking that I was the monosyllabic idiot that I portrayed.”

He also added, “It was a lot of fun, but there were times when I only had to say a couple of words, and I got paid a lot of money for it. I felt bad about that at times.”

Scott Valentine is no longer active as an actor, instead he has turned his attention to managing a hedge fund in the vicinity of his hometown Saratoga Springs. While Nick, the character he played on the show Family Ties, may be a fan favorite, it appears that the actor himself has mixed feelings about his portrayal of the character.

It’s worth noting that despite his mixed feelings about his time on Family Ties, Valentine has had a successful career both before and after the show. Even though he stepped away from acting, he has found success in other areas of work. He continues to look for new opportunities in his career journey.