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Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (/ˈækrɔɪd/; born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter and singer. He was an original "Not Ready For Prime Time Player" (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. Early life: 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 Hélène (née Gougeon), was a secretary. His mother was of French Canadian descent and his father of English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, and French 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 High Schools and studied criminology and sociology at Carleton University, but 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 developed his musical career in Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendances at Le Hibou, a club that featured many blues artists. He describes these influences as follows: ...there was a little club there called Le Hibou, which in French means 'the owl.' And it was run by a gentleman named Harvey Glatt, and he brought every, and I mean every, blues star that you or I would ever have wanted to have seen through Ottawa in the late '50s, well I guess more late '60s sort of, in around the Newport jazz rediscovery. I was going to Le Hibou and hearing James Cotton, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, and Muddy Waters. I actually jammed behind Muddy Waters. S.P. Leary left the drum kit one night, and Muddy said 'anybody out there play drums? I don't have a drummer.' And I walked on stage and we started, I don't know, Little Red Rooster, something. He said 'keep that beat going, you make Muddy feel good.' And I heard Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett). Many, many times I saw Howlin' Wolf. As well as The Doors. And of course Buddy Guy, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. So I was exposed to all of these players, playing there as part of this scene to service the academic community in Ottawa, a very well-educated community. Had I lived in a different town I don't think that this would have happened, because it was just the confluence of educated government workers, and then also all the colleges in the area, Ottawa University, Carleton, and all the schools--these people were interested in blues culture. Aykroyd's first professional experience, which he compiled at the age of 17, was as a member of the cast of the short-lived Canadian sketch comedy series The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour with Lorne Michaels, among others. He was a member of the Second City comedy troupe in 1973 in both Toronto and Chicago. Saturday Night Live: Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and the youngest member of its cast, a repertory company called "The Not Ready For Prime Time Players," 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, Julia Child, and others. He was also known for his recurring roles, such as Beldar, father of the Coneheads family; with Steve Martin, Yortuk 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 one 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 SNL; he later received two more nominations for writing and one for acting. In later decades, Aykroyd made occasional guest appearances and unannounced cameos on SNL, often impersonating the American politician Bob Dole. He would also bring back past characters including Irwin Mainway and Leonard Pinth-Garnell. During some guest appearances he resurrected The Blues Brothers musical act with frequent host John Goodman in place of Belushi. He became the second member of the original cast to host SNL in May 2003 when he appeared in the season finale. During his monologue, he performed a musical number with James Belushi similar to the Blues Brothers, but neither Aykroyd nor Belushi donned the famous black suit and sunglasses. On March 24, 2007, Aykroyd appeared as a crying fan of American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar (played by Andy Samberg) during Weekend Update. On February 14, 2009, he appeared as U.S. House Minority leader John Boehner. Aykroyd also made a surprise guest appearance, along with many other SNL alumni, on the March 9, 2013, show. The Blues Brothers: Aykroyd was a close friend of John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, it was their first meeting that helped spark the popular Blues Brothers act. When they met in a club Aykroyd frequented, he played a blues record in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy rock bands at the time. Aykroyd educated Belushi on the finer points of blues music and, with a little encouragement from then-SNL music director Paul Shaffer, it led to the creation of their Blues Brothers characters. Backed by such experienced professional R&B sidemen as lead guitarist Steve Cropper, sax man Lou Marini, trumpeter Alan Rubin and bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn, the Blues Brothers proved more than an SNL novelty. Taking off with the public as a legitimate musical act, they performed live gigs and released the hit album Briefcase Full of Blues (drawn from the fact that Aykroyd, as "Elwood Blues," carried his blues harmonicas in a briefcase that he kept handcuffed to his wrist, in the manner of a CIA courier; Belushi originally carried the key to those handcuffs) in 1978, and were further popularized in a 1980 film. The Blues Brothers Band continues to tour today, featuring original members Cropper and Marini, along with vocalist Eddie Floyd. Early in the incarnation of the Blues Brothers, Belushi joined the Grateful Dead on stage on April 2, 1980, for a rendition of "Good Morning Little School Girl" at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey that coincided with the Dead's appearance on SNL that weekend. Belushi sang the part usually carried by the late Dead band member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was a regular haunt for the original Blues Brothers in the early days of the band. Belushi and Aykroyd became fixtures at the recording studio, while fellow Blues Brother Steve Cropper called Cherokee his producing home. Whenever they needed a bass player, they were joined by another Blues Brother, Donald "Duck" Dunn. During this time, Cropper, along with producing partner and Cherokee owner Bruce Robb, worked on a number of music projects with the two comedians/musicians, including Belushi's favorite band Fear and later Aykroyd's movie Dragnet. Aykroyd and Belushi were scheduled to present the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 1982, but Belushi died only a few weeks prior to the ceremony. Though devastated by his friend's death, Aykroyd presented the award alone, remarking from the stage: "My partner would have loved to have been here to present this, given that he was something of a visual effect himself." In an earlier appearance on the Today show, he referred to himself and Belushi as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi," Aykroyd claims that Belushi was the only man he could ever dance with. In 1992, Aykroyd, along with many other notable music and Hollywood personalities, founded the House of Blues with the mission to promote African-American cultural contributions of blues music and folk art. From 2004 until its sale to Live Nation in 2007, it was the second-largest live music promoter in the world, with seven venues and 22 amphitheaters in the United States and Canada. Aykroyd also contributes his voice to the weekly House of Blues Radio Hour, which he hosts in the character of Elwood Delaney aka Elwood Blues. This show is hosted in the United Kingdom (from 16 July 2012) on Jazz FM. Today, the Blues Brothers still tour. Aykroyd still performs as Elwood back with Belushi's younger brother James Belushi, who plays "Brother Zee" on stage. They are most frequently backed by The Sacred Hearts Band. Other work: Concurrent with his work in Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd played the role of Purvis Bickle, lift operator at the fictitious office block 99 Sumach Street in the CBC Television series Coming Up Rosie. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd starred in a number of films, mostly comedies, with uneven results both commercially and artistically. He co-starred with Belushi in three films, 1941, which was his American feature-film debut but was unsuccessful due to its lack of a central human focus, The Blues Brothers, and Neighbors. One of his best-received performances was as a blueblood-turned-wretch in the 1983 comic drama Trading Places; a notable flop was in the earlier 1941. Director Steven Spielberg received the brunt of the criticism, but Aykroyd's performance as an Army Sergeant was called uneven, being played alternately straight or completely manic with little reason for the changes. Aykroyd originally wrote the role of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (1984) with Belushi in mind, but rewrote it for Bill Murray after Belushi's death. Aykroyd joked that the green ghost, later known as "Slimer," was "the ghost of John Belushi" and based on the similar party animal personality. Ghostbusters became a huge success for Aykroyd as a co-creator, co-writer, and one of the lead actors; the film's inspiration came from Aykroyd's fascination with parapsychology. Aykroyd participated in the recording of "We Are the World" in 1985. Aykroyd was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy. He was the second SNL cast member to be nominated for an Oscar, the first being Joan Cusack. Aykroyd's directorial debut was 1991's Nothing but Trouble starring Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Aykroyd, sporting an oddly phallic prosthetic nose. The film was a critical and box office flop. Aykroyd's other films in the 1990s included Exit to Eden, Blues Brothers 2000, and Getting Away with Murder, all of which were poorly received. One rare exception was a well-received role as a rival hit man in 1997's Grosse Pointe Blank. In 1995, Aykroyd played the role of Ray Zalinsky in Tommy Boy, which also featured "Not Ready For Prime Time Company" alumni David Spade and Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley. In 1994, Aykroyd made a guest appearance in an episode of the sitcom The Nanny as a refrigerator repairman. In 1997, Aykroyd starred in the ABC sitcom Soul Man which lasted only one season. In the 2000s, Aykroyd's film appearances have tended to be small character parts in big-budget productions, such as a signals analyst in Pearl Harbor and a neurologist in 50 First Dates. In 2001, Aykroyd starred in the Woody Allen film, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. In February 2007, Aykroyd revealed that he would be providing voice-acting for a Ghostbusters III CGI project, though these rumours were clarified later, that the CGI project was a next-gen video game that was currently in production. In 2009, Aykroyd along with Harold Ramis, wrote and appeared in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which also featured Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Brian Doyle-Murray. On June 14, 2009, GameStop used an outgoing phone message pre-recorded by Aykroyd to invite pre-order customers to the launch event at 10 p.m. Aykroyd wrote the liner notes for fellow Ottawa born blues musician JW-Jones' album Bluelisted in 2008. In 2009, Aykroyd contributed a series of reminiscences on his upbringing in Canada for a charity album titled Dan Aykroyd's Canada. In the same year, Aykroyd and Chevy Chase guest starred in the Family Guy episode "Spies Reminiscent of Us," an homage to the film Spies Like Us in which both had co-starred. Spies was another film in which Aykroyd hoped to co-star with John Belushi, until Belushi's death. He also hosts the nationally syndicated radio show "Elwood's BluesMobile" formerly known as House of Blues Radio Hour under his Blues Brothers moniker Elwood Blues. Aykroyd appeared in two February 2011 episodes of CBS' The Defenders, which starred Jim Belushi. This information was announced November 29, 2010. He also appeared on Top Chef Canada as a guest judge. Aykroyd announced in February 2012 that Bill Murray would not appear in Ghostbusters III and said that the film was indefinitely suspended. Aykroyd said Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis felt there had to be a way to do it without Murray. On March 20, 2012, Aykroyd said he was beginning work on a script for a comedy that would also star Chevy Chase. It would be the first time Aykroyd and Chase have appeared together onscreen since 1991's Nothing But Trouble. Personal life: Aykroyd is a permanent resident of the United States although he maintains his Canadian citizenship. Aykroyd was briefly engaged to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. He proposed to her on the set of The Blues Brothers (1980), in which she acted out a spurned girlfriend of John Belushi's Jake Blues who was trying to kill both, but the engagement ended when she got back together with former boyfriend, the renowned musician Paul Simon. In 1983, he married actress Donna Dixon, with whom he starred in the movies Doctor Detroit (1983), on whose set they first met, Spies Like Us (1985) and The Couch Trip (1988). They have three daughters, Danielle, Stella and Belle. He maintains his Canadian roots as a longtime resident of Sydenham, Ontario, with his estate on Loughborough Lake. Aykroyd described himself (in a radio interview with Terry Gross) as having mild Tourette's syndrome that was successfully treated with therapy when he was a preteen, as well as mild Asperger's condition. This latter diagnosis is in doubt, however, due to Akroyd's claim that it was made several years before Asperger's was first included in diagnostic manuals. He is a former reserve commander for the police department in Harahan, Louisiana, working for Chief of Police Peter Dale. Aykroyd would carry his badge with him at all times. Aykroyd is the co-founder and part owner of Crystal Head Vodka, the official vodka of The Rolling Stones. He is also part owner of several wineries in the Niagara region and the company that distributes Patron tequila in Canada. Aykroyd helped Dale start the Blue Line Foundation. They are redeveloping flood damaged lots in New Orleans and helping first responders buy them at reduced prices. Coastal Blue Line LLC, hopes to eventually rebuild 400 properties in New Orleans. Beliefs: Aykroyd considers himself a Spiritualist, stating that: I am a Spiritualist, a proud wearer of the Spiritualist badge. Mediums and psychic research have gone on for many, many years.... Loads of people have seen spirits, heard a voice or felt the cold temperature. I believe that they are between here and there, that they exist between the fourth and fifth dimension, and that they visit us frequently. His great-grandfather, a dentist, was a mystic who corresponded with author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the subject of Spiritualism, and who was a member of the Lily Dale Society. Other than Spiritualism, Aykroyd is also interested in various other aspects of the paranormal, particularly UFOlogy. He is a lifetime member of and official Hollywood consultant for the Mutual UFO Network. Along these lines, he served, from 1996 to 2000, as "host" of Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, which claimed to describe cases drawn from the archives of "The Office Of Scientific Investigation And Research." In 2005, Aykroyd produced the DVD Dan Aykroyd: Unplugged on UFOs. Aykroyd is interviewed for 80 minutes by UFOlogist David Sereda discussing in depth many aspects of the UFO phenomenon, and reveals specifically that they are blue, not green, but appear that way because of a filter. On September 29, 2009, Peter Aykroyd Sr., Dan's father, published a book entitled A History of Ghosts. This book chronicled the family's historical involvement in the Spiritualist Movement, to which Aykroyd readily refers. Aykroyd wrote the introduction and accompanied his father on a series of promotional activities, including launches in New York and Toronto, an appearance on Larry King Live and various other public relations initiatives. Aykroyd also read the introduction for the audio version of the book. Honors: He has been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 1994, Aykroyd received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Carleton University. In 1998, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Filmography: Film: Year Title Role Notes 1977 Love at First Sight Roy 1979 Mr. Mike's Mondo Video Jack Lord Priest/ himself 1941 Sgt. Frank Tree 1980 Blues Brothers, TheThe Blues Brothers Elwood Blues Also writer 1981 Neighbors Vic 1982 It Came from Hollywood Himself 1983 Doctor Detroit Clifford Skridlow/Doctor Detroit Trading Places Louis Winthorpe III Twilight Zone: The Movie Passenger/ Ambulance Driver 1984 Ghostbusters Dr. Raymond Stantz Also writer Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Art Weber Cameo appearance Nothing Lasts Forever Buck Heller 1985 Into the Night Herb Spies Like Us Austin Millbarge Also writer 1987 Dragnet Sgt. Joe Friday 1988 Couch Trip, TheThe Couch Trip John W. Burns, Jr. Great Outdoors, TheThe Great Outdoors Roman Craig Caddyshack 2 Capt. Tom Everett She's Having a Baby Roman Craig Uncredited cameo My Stepmother Is an Alien Steven Mills 1989 "Liberian Girl" Cameo Music video by Michael Jackson Driving Miss Daisy Boolie Werthan Nominated -- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Ghostbusters II Dr. Raymond Stantz Also writer 1990 Loose Cannons Ellis Fielding Masters of Menace Johnny Lewis 1991 My Girl Harry Sultenfuss Nothing but Trouble Alvin Valkenheiser Also writer and director 1992 Chaplin Mack Sennett Sneakers Mother This Is My Life Arnold Moss 1993 Coneheads Beldar Conehead Also writer 1994 Century of Cinema, AA Century of Cinema Himself Documentary Exit to Eden Fred Lavery My Girl 2 Harry Sultenfuss North Pa Tex 1995 Canadian Bacon OPP Officer Uncredited Casper Dr. Raymond Stantz Random Factor, TheThe Random Factor Dexter Voice only Tommy Boy Ray Zalinsky, "The Auto Parts King" 1996 Rainbow Sheriff Wyatt Hampton Celtic Pride Jimmy Flaherty Feeling Minnesota Det. Ben Costikyan My Fellow Americans President William Haney Getting Away with Murder Jack Lambert Sgt. Bilko Colonel John T. Hall 1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Grocer 1998 Antz Chip Voice only Blues Brothers 2000 Elwood Blues Also writer/producer Susan's Plan Bob 1999 Diamonds Lance Agensky 2000 House of Mirth, TheThe House of Mirth Gus Trenor Loser Dad Stardom Barry Levine 2001 Curse of the Jade Scorpion, TheThe Curse of the Jade Scorpion Chris Magruder Evolution Governor Lewis Frank Truth, TheThe Frank Truth Himself Documentary On the Nose Dr. Barry Davis Pearl Harbor Capt. Thurman 2002 Crossroads Pete Wagner Unconditional Love Max Beasly 2003 Bright Young Things Lord Monomark 2004 Christmas with the Kranks Vic Frohmeyer Shortcut to Happiness Julius Jenson 50 First Dates Dr. Keats Intern Academy Dr. Cyrill Kipp 2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Captain Phineas Tucker 2008 War, Inc. Mr. Vice President 2010 Yogi Bear Yogi Bear Voice only 2012 The Campaign Wade Motch The Ultimate Sacrifice Narrator 2014 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Scarecrow Voice only Tammy Don Get On Up Ben Bart Television: Year Title Role First episode Notes 1974 Gift of Winter, TheThe Gift of Winter Goodly/Rotten/Maple n/a Voice only 1975 Coming Up Rosie Purvis Bickle unknown 1975-79 Saturday Night Live Various "George Carlin" Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1977, nominated 1978-79), Nominated -- Primetime Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program (1978) 1976 Beach Boys: It's OK, TheThe Beach Boys: It's OK Cop n/a Also writer 1978 All You Need Is Cash Brian Thigh 1986-91 Real Ghostbusters, TheThe Real Ghostbusters Creator 1990 Dave Thomas Comedy Show, TheThe Dave Thomas Comedy Show Various "Episode 1.2" 1 episode It's Garry Shandling's Show Boolie Shandling "Driving Miss Garry" The Earth Day Special Vic's Buddy 1991 Tales from the Crypt Captain Mulligan "Yellow" 1 episode 1994 Nanny, TheThe Nanny Repair Man "Sunday in the Park with Fran" 1995 Kesley Grammar Salutes Jack Benny Himself Special 1996-, 2000 Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Host "John Doe" 88 episodes 1997 Arrow, TheThe Arrow Crawford Gordon n/a Also creative consultant 1997 Home Improvement Rev. Mike Walker "Losing My Religion" 1 episode Soul Man Rev. Mike Weber "Grabbed by an Angel" 25 episodes 2001 Earth vs. the Spider Det. Insp. Jack Grillo n/a History's Mysteries Narrator "The Children's Crusade" 1 episode 2002 According to Jim Danny Michalsky "Old Friends" 5 episodes 2009 Family Guy Himself "Spies Reminiscent of Us" 1 episode X-Play Himself "Quit Givin' Me the Bug Eye, Valkyrie" 2011 Defenders, TheThe Defenders Judge Max Hunter "Nevada v. Doug the Mule" 2 episodes 2013 Behind the Candelabra Seymour Heller 2014 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself "Season 1 Episode 89" 1 episode Guest appearances on SNL: Date Episode number Host/ Musical guest Role 01988-02-13-0000February 13, 1988 13.11 Justine Bateman/ Terence Trent D'Arby Bob Dole 01993-05-15-0000May 15, 1993 18.20 Kevin Kline/ Willie Nelson and Paul Simon 01995-03-25-0000March 25, 1995 20.16 John Goodman/ The Tragically Hip Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Tom Snyder, Rush Limbaugh, Robert Stack, miner 01998-02-07-0000February 7, 1998 23.14 John Goodman/ Paula Cole Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Ernesto 01998-09-26-0000September 26, 1998 24.1 Cameron Diaz/ The Smashing Pumpkins Yortuk Festrunk 02001-11-03-0000November 3, 2001 27.4 John Goodman/ Ja Rule Dr. Keith Vester, Elwood Blues, Leonard Pinth-Garnell 02002-02-02-0000February 2, 2002 27.12 Britney Spears Mormon, Judge Lindenwell 02003-03-08-0000March 8, 2003 28.14 Queen Latifah/ Ms. Dynamite Bob Dole 02003-05-17-0000May 17, 2003 28.20 Aykroyd/ Beyoncé Andrew Card, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Donnie "The Finger" Dabinski, biker, Esteban, chief science officer, Butch, Sam Elliott 02007-03-24-0000March 24, 2007 32.16 Peyton Manning/ Carrie Underwood Himself 02009-02-14-0000February 14, 2009 34.16 Alec Baldwin/ The Jonas Brothers John Boehner 02013-03-09-0000March 9, 2013 38.16 Justin Timberlake Himself, Yortuk Festrunk

Source: Wikipedia

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