- Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd
July 01, 1952 (age 68)
- Comedian, Singer, Actor, Screenwriter, Television Producer, Film Producer
- Donna Dixon
- Lorraine Hélène Aykroyd, Samuel Peter Aykroyd
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian comedian, singer, actor and screenwriter. 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.
In 1990, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Driving Miss Daisy.
Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, at theOttawa 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 Hélène (née Gougeon), was a secretary. His mother was of French Canadian descent and his father of English ancestry. His brother, Peter, also became a comedy actor. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly, or webbed toes, which was revealed in the movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video and in a short film on Saturday Night Live titled "Don't Look Back In Anger." He was also born with heterochromia – his right eye is green and his left eye is brown.
Aykroyd was raised in the Catholic Church, and intended to become a priest until the age of seventeen. He attended St Pius X and St Patrick's. He went on to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University, but he eventually dropped out before completing his degree. He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs and ran an after-hours speakeasy, Club 505, in Toronto for several years.
Aykroyd's musical career was initially developed in Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendances at Le Hibou, a club that featured many blues artists.
Dan Aykroyd was a member of the Second City comedy troupe in 1973 in both Toronto and Chicago.
Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and the youngest cast member for its first four seasons, from 1975 to 1979. Aykroyd brought a unique sensibility to the show, combining youth, unusual interests, talent as an impersonator and an almost lunatic intensity. Guest host Eric Idle, of Monty Python, said that Aykroyd's ability to write and act out characters flawlessly made him the only member of the SNL cast capable of being a Python.
He was known for his impersonations of celebrities like Jimmy Carter, Vincent Price, Richard Nixon, Rod Serling, Tom Snyder, and others. He was also known for his recurring roles, such as Beldar, father in the Coneheads family; with Steve Martin, Georg Festrunk, one of the "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" Czech brothers; sleazy late-night cable TV host E. Buzz Miller and his cousin, corrupt maker of children's toys and costumes Irwin Mainway (who extolled the virtues and defended the safety of the "Bag-o-Glass" toy, perhaps the retail leader of the "Bag-o" series of toys); Fred Garvin – male prostitute; and high-bred but low-brow critic Leonard Pinth-Garnell. He also co-hosted the Weekend Update segment for a season with Jane Curtin, coining the famous catchphrase "Jane, you ignorant slut" during point-counterpoint segments.
Aykroyd's eccentric talent was recognized by others in the highly competitive SNL environment: when he first presented his famous "Super Bass-O-Matic '76" sketch, a fake T.V. commercial in which a garish, hyper pitchman (modelled after Ron Popeil) touts a food blender that turns an entire bass into liquid pulp, "to [other writers and cast members] the 'Bass-O-Matic' was so exhilaratingly strange that many remember sitting and listening, open-mouthed ... Nobody felt jealous of it because they couldn't imagine writing anything remotely like it."
While Aykroyd was a close friend and partner with fellow cast member John Belushi and shared some of the same sensibilities, Aykroyd was more reserved and less self-destructive. In 1977, he received an Emmy Award for writing on Saturday Night Live; he later received two more nominations for writing, and one each for acting and Outstanding Comedy-Variety series.
Aykroyd is a permanent resident of the United States. He maintains his Canadian citizenship. 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. He maintains his Canadian roots as a longtime resident of Sydenham, Ontario, with his estate on Loughborough Lake.