Dan Aykroyd life and biography

Dan Aykroyd picture, image, poster

Dan Aykroyd biography

Date of birth : 1952-07-01
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nationality : Canadian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-17
Credited as : Comedian, actor, The Blues Brothers

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Dan Aykroyd is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers (with John Belushi) and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.

Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in the Canadian capital, where his father, Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer, worked as a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His mother, Lorraine Helene (née Gougeon), is a secretary of French Canadian origin. His brother, Peter, also became a comedy actor. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly (webbed toes), which was revealed in the movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video and in a short film on Saturday Night Live (Don't Look Back In Anger). He was also born with heterochromia (a condition of having two differently coloured eyes). His right eye is green and his left eye is brown.

Aykroyd's great-grandfather, Samuel Augustus Aykroyd (1855–1933), a dentist, had been a mystic and had been involved in Spiritualism, which Aykroyd would have a great interest in, stating that "all that stuff was hanging around the old farmhouse I grew up in, so I was kind of steeped in it".

Aykroyd was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and had intended to become a priest until the age of seventeen. He attended St Pius X and St Patrick's, and was briefly expelled from the latter because he had dressed up a pig to look like the pope and took it to school for show and tell. He went on to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University but dropped out before completing. He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs and ran an after-hours speakeasy (Club 505) in Toronto for several years.

One of the most vibrant comic personalities of the 1970s and '80s, as well as a noted actor and screenwriter, Dan Aykroyd got his professional start in his native Canada. Before working as a standup comedian in various Canadian nightclubs, Aykroyd studied at a Catholic seminary from which he was later expelled. He then worked as a train brakeman, a surveyor, and studied Sociology at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he began writing and performing comedy sketches. His success as a comic in school led him to work with the Toronto branch of the famed Second City improvisational troupe.

During the '90s, Aykroyd's career faltered just a bit as he appeared in one disappointment after another. Despite scattered successes like My Girl (1991), Chaplin (1992), Casper (1995), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and Antz (1998), the all-out flops -- The Coneheads (1993), Exit to Eden (1994), Sgt. Bilko (1996) -- were plentiful. Likewise, the long-awaited Blues Brothers sequel, Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), proved a great disappointment. Aykroyd, however, continued to maintain a screen profile, starring as Kirk Douglas' son in the family drama Diamonds in 1999.

Aykroyd's musical career was initially developed in Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendances at Le Hibou, a club that featured many blues artists.

Aykroyd is a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1983, he married actress Donna Dixon, with whom he starred in the movies Doctor Detroit, Spies Like Us, and The Couch Trip. They have three daughters: Danielle Alexandra (born November 18, 1989), Belle Kingston (born June 9, 1993), and Stella Irene August (born April 5, 1998). He maintains his Canadian roots as a longtime resident of Sydenham, Ontario, with his estate on Loughborough Lake.

Aykroyd considers himself a Spiritualist.

Filmography:

2007 : I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Captain Tucker
2010 : Yogi Bear

Television:

2009 : Family Guy ; X-Play
2011 : The Defenders

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