Switched At Birth & the Other Little Known MJ Movies

A little while ago I came across an interesting discovery and decided to share it with those who would be as interested in it as I! I stumbled upon this fascinating find from the Music Choice Channel one day. 

It’s safe to say the majority of Michael Jackson fans are familiar with his acting career from works like ‘ The Jackson Five’ to  ‘Ben’ to ‘Miss Castaway’, but I’m willing to bet some, if not most, are unfamiliar about his 1991 made for TV flick ‘Switched At Birth.’ 

Michael played as himself in this made for TV movie

Full Synopsis: 

The two-part, four-hour TV movie Switched at Birth is based on an actual event which began unfolding in Wauchula, Florida in 1978. Brian Kerwin and Judith Hoag play the new parents of a baby girl; a few days later, another couple, played by John M. Jackson and Bonnie Bedelia, have a baby at the same hospital. Kerwin and Hoag’s baby is healthy; Jackson and Bedelia’s baby has a heart defect. Switched at Birth traces the lives of the two girls over a period of eight years–up to the point of a tragedy which opens the possibility that the girls may not have been given over to the correct parents at the hospital. The four parents involved find themselves in court, battling over custody of the surviving child. This intensely personal problem is bloated into a cause celebre by the press and by parents’ rights pressure groups. Edward Asner and Caroline McWilliams appear as the opposing attorneys. Those who’d been following the two-part Switched at Birth during its first telecast in April of 1991 may have found themselves in family conflicts of their own, inasmuch as Part Two was shown opposite the network TV premiere of Die Hard.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Some other time ago, I found out about another forgotten TV appearance on the ‘ABC Afterschool Specials’. Michael played in ‘Daddy Can’t Read ‘ and also played as himself in this. Unfortunately, since I cannot find clips for either of these, I have no  idea how he connects with the storyline, and the only info I’ve been able to come across entails him playing as himself. 


Full Plot Summary: 

 Teenager Alison Watson is helping to promote a campaign to fight adult illiteracy in her town. Mr. Ruigh is teaching classes, and all the students are women. Alison’s father Bill Watson works at a factory which will soon modernize, and workers will need to read and use computers on the job. Bill doesn’t want his daughter pitching the literacy program to his workers, because he fears they will be targets of layoffs if supervisors realize they are illiterate. Written by Ken Miller   

Attatched to that summary was the email address of the writer. I’m guessing this person gave their email out for a reason, so why not ask him for a link to the video, or whatever information he happens to have regarding this jewel of a find. wkmiller704@yahoo.com 

While researching on the subject of Michael’s little known roles in little remembered movies, I came across a 1972 TV special titled ‘Free To Be You and Me’ by Marlo Thomas & Friends. I found out that not only is Michael listed as apart of the cast, but it also includes Dionne Warwick, Harry Belafonte. and Diana Ross. 


Free To Be You And Me was a project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, which of whom first introduced a storybook and later a CD with the same title. 

Here’s a link to the whole history of the soundtrack: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_to_Be%E2%80%A6_You_and_Me 

And strictly for your entertainment, a clip of a fourteen-year- old Michael’s performance! Enjoy! 



I’m aware that telling you about the previous two programs teases you to know end, and I feel your pain. If I do run across something else, I will let you know and update the post a.s.a.p! 

BTW: Here’s a link to MJ’s full filmography (It’s a bit outdated): http://www.filmreference.com/film/21/Michael-Jackson.html


2 thoughts on “Switched At Birth & the Other Little Known MJ Movies

  1. Jauhara says:

    Wow, thats exactly how I found out about Michael’s appearence on the movie. I just can’t find the right clip with him in it. :/

    • MJdcaring says:

      Yeah, I find coming across a clip of this (or even a mention of it in other places) very hard to come by. I would love to post a clip specifically with Michael in it, but can’t find any.

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