The Truth About Ashton Kutcher's Twin Brother

Michael Kutcher, twin brother of "That '70s Show" actor Ashton Kutcher, lives a life outside of the spotlight in contrast to his celebrity brother. Growing up, Michael experienced developmental delays, which eventually led to him being diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a young child. Navigating life with a disability that affects motor function is not easy, especially when you have a famous brother, but he hasn't let his disability stop him from living his life to the fullest.

Since his adulthood, Michael has worked relentlessly to fight for causes that are important to him and to be a voice to those without a platform. Using his wisdom from a lifetime of experiences, including almost dying as a teenager, he travels across the country as a spokesperson for several foundations and organizations dedicated to advocating for people with disabilities.

From lobbying Congress to writing a memoir, here is the remarkable story of Michael Kutcher.

Michael Kutcher was born with several health problems

Michael Kutcher was born on February 7, 1978, along with his twin brother Christopher Ashton Kutcher, according to his website. While his brother was born a healthy baby, weighing around 11 pounds, Michael was not as lucky and experienced many health problems when he was brought into the world.

In contrast to his twin brother, Michael was born weighing only four pounds, with undeveloped lungs and breathing difficulties. At the time, his birth came as a shock to his parents, Larry and Diane Kutcher, who were only expecting one child, per Today. After weeks of extensive medical care, he was able to begin life outside of medical supervision. "My mom noticed I was having developmental difficulties and not advancing like my twin was, so she began taking me to doctors," he explained in Today's Parents column.

After several doctors visits and journeying to find answers, he received his cerebral palsy diagnosis not long before he started kindergarten. Unfortunately for Michael, this would not be the end of his obstacles, and he would have a life-changing experience by the time he was a teenager.

He nearly died as a teenager

Cerebral palsy affected Michael Kutcher's ability to see, walk, and talk growing up, but it didn't stop him from leading the life he wanted for himself. When he was 13 years old, however, he faced a grim diagnosis that had the potential to affect his life, and those around him, for good. At the time, a cardiologist diagnosed him with heart failure, with less than a month to live before he would experience an inevitable (and fatal) cardiac arrest episode, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press noted in a 2012 article about Kutcher's motivational speech to Iowa high-schoolers.

As the doctors predicted, just three weeks after his initial diagnosis, Kutcher's heart stopped and he went into cardiac arrest. At the time, his parents agreed to use a pump on Kutcher to prolong his life for a couple of days, and miraculously, he received a heart transplant shortly after, per his website.

According to his story as reported by Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Kutcher once again faced a limited life expectancy with his new heart, with doctors predicting he would only live another seven years. Defying all assumptions and proving his strength and resilience, Kutcher is alive to this day.

Michael Kutcher's career is out of the spotlight

Unlike his celebrity brother Ashton Kutcher, Michael Kutcher has a career away from the spotlight and outside of the public eye. Rather than follow his brother, Kutcher pursued a career in the business field as an adult. After graduating high school in 1996, he attended Mount Mercy University in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, per his website

Kutcher graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and Finance, which aided him in securing a job in sales. According to a 2010 interview with The Hill, he was a pension provider at Transamerica Retirement Services. "I'm actually in a transition role right now — I'm a part of the internal sales division, but currently transferring to a management position. We sell 401(k) plans to small and mid-size markets," he said at the time. Per 401K Specialist, Kutcher was Transamerica's Strategic Business Planning Manager as of 2021.

Alongside his career with Transamerica Retirement Services, he works as an advisor for a service called Joshin that aids in connecting individuals with disabilities to experienced caregivers and providers, as reported by Today. Additionally, Kutcher is a spokesperson for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, using his experiences and wisdom to advocate for those with cerebral palsy.

He fights to bring awareness to cerebral palsy

Outside of his career, Michael Kutcher dedicates his time to bringing awareness to cerebral palsy and helping individuals with disabilities get access to care and resources that can make daily life more manageable.

Per his website, he engages in public speaking and advocacy on behalf of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation as well as Donate Life. He also formerly worked on the executive board of Reaching for the Stars, A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy, until the organization merged with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in 2019. After the merger, Kutcher became a part of a new board called the Advisory Circle, which is, according to a press release from Cision PR Newswire, "tasked with informing and evolving CPF's many efforts."

Kutcher's advocacy has gone beyond his work in various organizations, and he has brought his story to some of the most important leaders in the country. According to his profile on the Cerebral Palsy Foundation website, he has given speeches to the CDC, the National Institute of Health, the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, and even Capitol Hill.

The brief feud with brother Ashton Kutcher

Growing up, Michael and Ashton Kutcher were as close as twins could possibly be. Their bond was so strong that when Michael received news that he had just weeks to live, Ashton considered taking his own life to give him his heart. "I'm standing on the balcony, thinking about jumping off, and my dad comes out and says, 'What are you thinking about?' I tell him. He comes over and says 'You can't do that,'" the actor explained to the LA Daily News in 2005 (via Digital Spy). Thankfully, a donor's heart arrived just in time to save Michael and arguably Ashton, as well.

While the two were close from their childhood to adulthood, there was one point in their relationship when Michael was furious with his celebrity brother. Around 2003, the "That '70s Show" actor revealed in an interview that his twin brother had cerebral palsy, which caused a brief rift between the siblings. Touching on that experience, Michael told Today, "I was very angry. Very angry. ... I didn't want to be the face of CP. I never talked about it."

Rather than stay mad at his brother, Michael further explained that by sharing his story on such a big level, Ashton allowed him to fully embrace who he was, rather than hide his disability. Ashton has also learned more about life through his brother, saying in an award acceptance speech (via ABC News), "We all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that."

Politics is another cause close to Michael Kutcher's heart

Being an advocate for individuals with disabilities and raising awareness for cerebral palsy are missions deeply ingrained in Michael Kutcher's being, but he is also passionate about politics. In 2010, he lobbied Congress to bring attention to the lack of funding for cerebral palsy research in hopes of helping those living with the disability, as well as their family members and caretakers, gain access to better care and resources. "There are more than 800,000 people with cerebral palsy in the U.S. today — one in 278 children [is] affected by cerebral palsy — and there's no line item in CDC funding at all," he told The Hill in 2010.

Outside of his advocacy for cerebral palsy awareness, Kutcher does have a general interest in politics, which traces back to his young adulthood. In his interview with The Hill, he revealed that he might be interested in returning to college to earn a degree in political science, and he'd consider running for public office.

Kutcher has used Twitter to discuss topics that are important to him, ranging from legislation that protects people of color and patients with disabilities from fraud in the organ transplant system, to gun control, in light of the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting in May 2022.

Michael Kutcher is happily married and has a son

Michael Kutcher is successful in every regard: he has a great career, he works for important causes close to him, and he is a happily married man and father. His first and only son was born around 2005, and since welcoming a child into the world, Kutcher has been dedicated to being a dad to both his biological child and his two stepchildren.

Kutcher has a blended family with his wife. He no longer lives in Iowa, but calls Colorado his home now. In a 2019 interview with Us Weekly, Kutcher said, "I have recently built a new family here in Colorado and found an amazing woman with two younger children herself. It's another chapter in my life. I'm thankful to have started writing that chapter."

The identity of Kutcher's wife has yet to be revealed, but he nonetheless seems content and happy with his family life.

He is writing a memoir

Michael Kutcher's story is equally as memorable as it is inspiring. While he frequently shares his life journey in public speeches and interviews, he was also driven to write his memoir, "My Yellow Brick Road," during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Forbes. The memoir is set to explore his life and how he used his disability to be a voice to help others.

On writing the memoir and bringing his story to paper, Kutcher told the publication, "My aim is for people reading to say, 'Here's a guy who has been given a lot of obstacles that most people can't even fathom, and he's still standing tall, he's still optimistic, and he's portraying a positive image about overcoming challenges while enjoying life.'" Outside of telling people his story, the book is also meant to shift the reader's perspective on life and more importantly, motivate people to appreciate life a little bit more.

If anyone is inspired by Kutcher's perseverance through life's greatest challenges, it's his brother, Ashton Kutcher. The actor spoke highly of his brother to Today in 2021, saying, "My brother's daily actions remind me that life isn't about running around challenges — it's about running through them. Mike has a relentless work ethic and a deep compassion for others."