In Back to the Future Doctor Emmett Brown is seen in 1955 and 1985 as appearing roughly the same age. While there are people that age very gracefully like this (William Shatner for example), this makes it hard to guess their age.

As I do not recall Emmett ever revealing his age or date of birth in the movies, and wikia is unhelpful (it lists three different birth years), I am left to wonder if Emmett's age has ever been definitively established.

  • They did actually put some wrinkle makeup on the 1985 Doc Brown in part 1 to make him look older than the 1955 version, though it was subtle--look at the shot here for example, compared to 1955 Doc Brown here. In parts 2 and 3 they let Christopher Lloyd go without it by using that scene where Doc takes off a mask and says he had been to a rejuvenation clinic. – Hypnosifl Oct 26 '15 at 17:19

There is apparently a video game that came out that had Marty travelling to 1931 and meeting with a teenage Emmett Brown. Without further information that puts his DOB from 1912 to 1918, making him between 67 and 73 years old in 1985.

Before I did the research that found out about the video game I was guessing that his age was 70 in 1985. This is just simple supposition based on the fact that at the end of the first movie, he travels 30 years into the future (which would according to my guess make him exactly 100 years old). Again this was just guessing based on knowledge of the character and the idea that I believe it would personally appeal to anyone to travel to a time when they turned 100 years old.

If the video game is canon, then this guess would fit within canon as well, making him 16 years old (a teenager) during the video game. This would also make him only 40 years old during the events that take place in 1955, which seems to make him slightly younger than his appearances during that time, however Christopher Lloyd was born in 1938, making him only 47 when the first movie was released.

I haven't personally played the video game, so I am unsure as to whether his age is more definitively pinpointed in canon, so the most I can definitively say is between 67 and 73 years old during 1985. I would submit that I find it likely that his true age in 1985 was 70 years old.


Emmett Brown is 65 in October 1985 according to the Back to the future novelisation by George Gipe, which is based on both the fourth script draft and the first film by Zemeckis and Gale, so I would consider that to be most accurate.

At sixty-five, he was one of the nation's most talented and most unheralded inventors. In fact, no one except Marty McFly even knew of his accomplishments, but that didn't matter. Soon all that would change.  His lifetime of struggle, of being the recipient of ridicule, would suddenly turn golden.

(This quote comes from chapter 2 of the novelization, where we're still in 1985.)

That would make Doc born in 1920, not 1914 as depicted in "Back to the future the Game", which seems to take place in a different reality to that of the films. The Back to the future animated series (1991-1993) also seems to agree with the 1920s birthdate

  • 1
    Do you happen to have a quote from the book you can add here? – phantom42 Aug 18 '15 at 14:11
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    I've added a quote, courtesy of Ryan North's excellent review of the novelization. I would disagree with Ben's rationale, however. As North points out, the novelization is not based on the shooting script, and differs from the movie in numerous details; further, as North points out, the novelization is completely bonkers. – Ryan Veeder Sep 10 '15 at 4:12

protected by Aegon Nov 8 '18 at 13:45

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