Marty McFly"s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, was crucial part the the Back come the Future collection — yet audiences couldn"t help but notification that in between the 1985 original standard film and also 1989"s Back to the Future part IIher appearance had adjusted just a bit.

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Jennifer was portrayed in the an initial film by Claudia Wells, that was make her function film debut after creating a respectable TV resume through appearances on such popular series as Trapper John, M.D. and Simon & Simon. As large breaks go, she Back come the Future gig to be pretty big; back she to be featured only throughout the "present day" sequences at the beginning and end of the film, she boasted excellent onscreen chemistry v star Michael J. Fox, and also the movie"s end teased a much bigger component for she character in any potential sequels.

Sure enough, Jennifer figured quite a bit much more prominently in both Part II and 1990"s Back come the Future part III, which to be shot back-to-back. But in those films, the function was recast v Elisabeth Shue, with whom audiences were acquainted from her revolve as the girl friend of one more indelible "80s character: Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) in 1984"s The Karate Kid. When the talented Shue acquitted herself simply fine, fans wondered what happened to the initial Jennifer — and, unfortunately, the prize carries a keep in mind of tragedy. In 1986, Wells walked away from showbiz because that the most personal of reasons. "My mom had 4th stage lymphoma," the actress told Huffington Post in 2015. "I had so lot happening personally that deep down, i never thought about reprising my function and deep in my soul, ns knew to be the right an option for me."

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In an interview with People that very same year, Wells remembered the the stars virtually didn"t line up for her to take part in Back come the Future in ~ all. She to be initially cast when Eric Stoltz, who was famously replaced with Fox after shooting a great deal of the movie, to be still holding under the role of Marty. "We even did girlfriend/boyfriend pictures together that were walking to go in his wallet," the actress remembered. However then, she was required to fall out because of her commitment come the sitcom Off the Rack, which had been choose up from pilot. She was replaced with future The Office star Melora Hardin — however fate intervened. By the time the decision was made come recast the function of Marty v Fox, Wells" sitcom had obtained the axe — and Hardin was deemed to be also tall come star opposite the film"s brand-new lead. "I"m , and Michael"s , so I gained my component back," Wells recalled. "How cool is that? It"s absolutely fate."

After departing show business and recovering native the fatality of her mommy — interesting way enough, v the assist of a support group led by the legendary Saturday Night Live alum Gilda Radner — Wells started a new chapter in she life, opened a high-end menswear shop in Studio City, California, which tho thrives come this day. She never ever forgot she love of acting, though, or the role that practically made she a household name — both of i beg your pardon she was fortunate enough to revisit years under the road.

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In 2008, Wells returned to the acting world, lastly scoring her 2nd feature: Still Waters Burn, a romantic drama in i m sorry she starred the contrary Ian Hart of The Terror and The critical Kingdom fame. In the intervening years, she"s picked up roles in a variety of small genre movies — yet what have to be her many satisfying gig came as soon as she was tapped come voice Jennifer in 2011"s Back come the Future: The GameShe even got come reprise the role in live-action in the short Back to the 2015 Future, i m sorry dropped top top YouTube ~ above November 21, 2015 — the date to i beg your pardon Marty travel in Back come the Future part II. The brief depicted Marty and Jennifer finishing up in our real-world 2015, together opposed come the only-slightly-less-weird version they saw in the movie.

Wells has continued picking up acting gigs, and also she has several tasks in the pipeline at the time of this writing. She"s likewise put in her time at Back to the Future fan conventions, at times sharing the spotlight v her old co-star Fox, v whom, as she told People, she still has a one-of-a-kind connection. "When he placed his arms roughly me and also I hugged him, i promise you: that felt like no time had actually passed in ~ all because I was 18 and he to be 24," she said. "It"s prefer no years had gone by, and also it was simply one moment later on in terms of our physicality and also our connection and also our chemistry. That was like a time warp had taken place."