at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
|Born||Daniel Edward Aykroyd
July 1, 1952
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Donna Dixon (1983–present)|
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (born July 1, 1952) is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Canadian-American comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, winemaker and ufologist. 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 (née Gougeon), is a secretary of French Canadian origin, and 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-), 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, where he was briefly expelled from the latter: he dressed up a pig to look like the pope and brought 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.
Aykroyd's musical career was initially developed in Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendances at Le Hibou, a club that featured many blues artists. He describes these influences as follows:
Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and 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. Eric Idle, of Monty Python, once 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, Richard Nixon, 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 commercial in which a garish, hyper pitchman (modeled 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." [Hill and Weingrad p. 143]
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 won each for acting and Outstanding Comedy-Variety series.
In later decades, Aykroyd made occasional guest appearances and unannounced cameos on Saturday Night Live, often impersonating the American politician Bob Dole. He would also bring back past characters including Irwin Mainway and Leonard Pinth-Garnell. During a couple of his guest appearances he resurrected the Blues Brothers musical act with frequent host John Goodman in place of John Belushi. Finally in May 2003, he hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live. During his monologue, he did a musical bit with Jim Belushi that was similar to the Blues Brothers, but neither Aykroyd nor Belushi donned the famous black suit and sunglasses. It was a unique hosting choice as he was not promoting a project at the time and he did not bring back any characters for this appearance. He became the second member of the original cast to host the show. On March 24, 2007, he made an appearance as a crying fan of American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar (played by Andy Samberg) during Weekend Update. On February 14, 2009, he made an appearance portraying U.S. House Minority leader John Boehner.
Aykroyd was good friends with John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, it was his first meeting with Belushi that helped spark their popular Blues Brothers act. When they met in a club Aykroyd frequented, Aykroyd put on a blues record to play in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with Blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy metal. Aykroyd educated John 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 in 1978. The Blues Brothers Band continues to tour today, featuring original members Cropper, Marini, Rubin, and Dunn, along with vocalist Eddie Floyd.
Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was a regular haunt for the original Blues Brothers back in the early days of the band. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd became fixtures at the recording studio, while fellow Blues Brother and legendary guitar player 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 comedian/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." Not a few years before, when he and John Belushi were making an appearance on the "Today" show, he referred to them as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi", Aykroyd claims that John 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. Its mission is 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.
Today, The Blues Brothers still tour. Dan Aykroyd still performs as Elwood back with John's little brother James Belushi who plays "Brother Zee" on stage. They are almost always backed by The Sacred Hearts Band.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd starred in a number of mainly comedy films, with uneven results both commercially and artistically. When starting out in the film industry Aykroyd would star with his old friend Belushi in three films, The Blues Brothers, Neighbors and 1941. 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 either played straight or completely manic).
Aykroyd originally wrote the role of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (1984) with John Belushi in mind, but rewrote the part for another famous SNL player, Bill Murray, after Belushi died. Aykroyd used to joke that the green ghoul (who would later come to be known as "Slimer" in the animated series and was credited as such in the second film) was "the ghost of John Belushi", 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.
His directorial debut was 1991's Nothing but Trouble. It starred Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Aykroyd himself, sporting an oddly phallic prosthetic nose. The film was a critical and box office flop. Other efforts in the 1990s, including Exit To Eden, Blues Brothers 2000, and Getting Away with Murder, were also poorly received. He also made an uncredited appearance in the Michael Moore film, Canadian Bacon as a motorcycle cop.
In 1997, Aykroyd starred in a short-lived sitcom on ABC called Soul Man. The show lasted 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, although he stated that it would not happen until next year. He also, 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.
It was John Belushi who discovered the band Fear and brought them to Cherokee Studios to record songs for the soundtrack of Neighbors, a film he and Aykroyd were starring in. Music producing partners Steve Cropper and Bruce Robb (producer) remember recording the band's music, but nobody knows exactly what happened with the final soundtrack, which was ultimately replaced in the film by a traditional movie score.
On the 2008 release of fellow Ottawa born blues musician JW-Jones' album Bluelisted, Aykroyd wrote the liner notes.
In 2009, Aykroyd contributed a series of reminiscences on his upbringing in Canada for a charity album titled "Dan Aykroyd's Canada".
On June 14, 2009, GameStop called people who pre-ordered Ghostbusters: The Video game using Aykroyd's voice telling them to come to the launch event at 10pm.
Aykroyd also received a dubious honour in 1997, when the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal "awarded" him the Snuffed Candle award, for "contributing to the public's lack of understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry." CSICOP did this in response to Aykroyd's program Psi Factor.
The popular Scottish band Dananananaykroyd named themselves after Dan Aykroyd.
Aykroyd is a Naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1983, he married actress Donna Dixon, with whom he starred in the movies Spies Like Us, Doctor Detroit, 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 described himself (in a radio interview with Terry Gross) as having mild Tourette syndrome that was successfully treated with therapy when he was a preteen, as well as mild Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis of Asperger syndrome was not standardized as a diagnosis in the 1960s, when Aykroyd was a preteen. It is unclear if Aykroyd received the diagnoses of TS or AS from a medical source, whether he was speaking in his role as a comic, or whether the diagnoses were self-made. It was an audio interview, so the audience could not see Aykroyd's facial expressions, but the interviewer indicated uncertainty about whether Aykroyd was kidding (which he denied).
As of 2006, Aykroyd has entered a partnership with Niagara Cellars, which owns four wineries in the Niagara region. They will be marketing a series of red and white wines under his name. He spent a good amount of time in 2009 promoting his own Crystal Head Vodka, with his interest in the paranormal coming through with the drink's unique skull-shaped bottle. He is also considering a beer and vodka label with the Coneheads name.
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 to rebuild 400 properties in New Orleans.
In a recent radio interview with the Hill-Man Morning show, Aykroyd said if he could forget one film he did it would be "Exit To Eden".
Aykroyd considers himself a Spiritualist, stating that:
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. In 2005, Aykroyd produced a DVD titled, Dan Aykroyd: Unplugged on UFOs. In it he is interviewed for 80 minutes by UFOlogist David Sereda where he discusses in depth every aspect 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, father of Dan Aykroyd, 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 City 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.
|1974||The Gift of Winter||Goodly, Rotten, Maple||TV film, voice only|
|1977||Love at First Sight||Roy|
|1979||Mr. Mike's Mondo Video||Jack Lord Priest|
|1941||Sgt. Frank Tree|
|1980||The Blues Brothers||Elwood Blues||Also writer|
|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||Weber||Cameo|
|Nothing Lasts Forever||Buck Heller|
|1985||Into the Night||Herb|
|Spies Like Us||Austin Millbarge||Also writer|
|1987||Dragnet||Sgt. Joe Friday||Also writer|
|1988||Caddyshack II||Capt. Tom Everett||1989 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|The Couch Trip||John W. Burns, Jr.|
|The Great Outdoors||Roman Craig|
|She's Having A Baby||Roman Craig||Cameo|
|My Stepmother Is An Alien||Steven Mills|
|1989||Driving Miss Daisy||Boolie Werthan||Nominated 1989 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||Judge Alvin Valkenheiser/ Bobo||Also director and writer
1992 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Nominated 1992 Razzie Award for Worst Director
Nominated 1992 Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (with Peter Aykroyd)
|This Is My Life||Arnold Moss|
|1993||Coneheads||Beldar Conehead||Also writer|
|1994||A Century of Cinema||Himself||Documentary|
|Exit to Eden||Fred Lavery||Nominated 1995 Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple
Nominated Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (also for North)
|My Girl 2||Harry Sultenfuss|
|North||Pa Tex||Nominated 1995 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (also for Exit to Eden)|
|1995||Canadian Bacon||OPP Officer|
|Casper||Dr. Raymond Stantz||Cameo|
|Rainbow||Sheriff Wyatt Hampton|
|The Random Factor||Dexter||Voice only|
|1996||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|
|Blues Brothers 2000||Elwood Blues||Also writer and producer|
|2000||The House of Mirth||Gus|
|2001||The Curse of the Jade Scorpion||Chris Magruder|
|The Frank Truth||Himself||Documentary|
|On The Nose||Dr. Barry Davis|
|Pearl Harbor||Capt. Thurman|
|Unconditional Love||Max Beasly|
|2003||Bright Young Things||Lord Monomark|
|2004||Christmas with the Kranks||Vic Frohmeyer|
|The Devil and Daniel Webster||Julius Jenson|
|50 First Dates||Dr. Keats|
|Intern Academy||Dr. Cyrill Kipp|
|2005||Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs||Himself|
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry||Captain Tucker|
|Let's All Hate Toronto||Himself|
|2008||War, Inc.||Mr. Vice President|
|2009||Ghostbusters: The Video Game||Dr. Raymond Stantz||Video game, Voice only, also writer|
|2010||Burke and Hare||filming|
|Yogi Bear (film)||Yogi Bear||Voice only|
|2011||Dorothy of Oz||Scarecrow||filming|
|2012||Ghostbusters III||Dr. Raymond Stantz||Pre-Production|
|1975||Coming Up Rosie||Purvis Bickle||unknown|
|1975-1979||Saturday Night Live||Various||"Episode 1.1"||1977 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Music, Comedy, or Variety Series
Nominated 1978 Emmy for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated 1978 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Music, Comedy, or Variety Series
Nominated 1979 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Music, Comedy, or Variety Series
Nominated 2007 TV Land Award for Favorite Elvis Impersonation (with John Belushi)
|1976||The Beach Boys: It's OK||Cop||TV Movie, also writer|
|1978||All You Need Is Cash||Brian Thigh||TV Movie|
|1986-1991||The Real Ghostbusters||"unknown"||Writer of 150 episodes|
|1990||The Dave Thomas Comedy Show||Various||"Episode 1.2"||1 episode|
|It's Garry Shandling's Show||Boolie Shandling||"Driving Miss Garry"||1 episode|
|1991||Tales from the Crypt||Captain Mulligan||"Yellow"||1 episode|
|1994||The Nanny||Repair Man||"Sunday in the Park with Fran"||1 episode|
|1995||Kesley Grammar Salutes Jack Benny||Himself||TV special|
|1996-2000||PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal||Host||"John Doe"||88 episodes|
|1997||The Arrow||Crawford Gordon||TV movie, also creative consultant|
|Home Improvement||Rev. Mike Walker||"Losing My Religion"||1 episode|
|Soul Man||Rev. Mike Weber||"Grabbed By An Angel"||12 episodes|
|2001||Earth vs. the Spider||Det. Insp. Jack Grillo||TV Movie|
|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"||1 episode|
|Date||Episode Number||Host/ Musical Guest||Role|
|February 13, 1988||13.11||Justine Bateman/ Terrance Trent D'Arby||Bob Dole|
|May 15, 1993||18.20||Kevin Kline/ Willie Nelson and Paul Simon||Bob Dole|
|March 25, 1995||20.16||John Goodman/ The Tragically Hip||Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Tom Snyder, Rush Limbaugh, Robert Stack, miner|
|February 7, 1998||23.12||John Goodman/ Paula Cole||Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Ernesto|
|September 26, 1998||24.1||Cameron Diaz/ The Smashing Pumpkins||Yortuk Festrunk|
|November 3, 2001||27.4||John Goodman/ Ja Rule||Dr. Keith Vester, Elwood Blues, Leonard Pinth-Garnell|
|February 2, 2002||27.12||Britney Spears||Mormon, Judge Lindenwell|
|March 8, 2003||28.14||Queen Latifah/ Ms. Dynamite||Bob Dole|
|May 17, 2003||28.20||Himself/ Beyonce||Andrew Card, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Donnie "The Finger" Dabinski, biker, Esteban, chief science officer, Butch, Sam Elliot|
|March 24, 2007||32.16||Peyton Manning/ Carrie Underwood||Himself|
|February 14, 2009||34.16||Alec Baldwin/ The Jonas Brothers||John Boehner|
|1.||Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom||1984||$333,107,271||$28,000,000|
|3.||Driving Miss Daisy||1989||$145,793,296||$7,500,000|
|6.||Spies Like Us||1985||$70,648,171||$20,000,000|
|7.||The Blues Brothers||1980||$66,216,537||$27,000,000|
|9.||The Great Outdoors||1988||$41,455,230||$24,000,000|
|10.||Twilight Zone: The Movie||1983||$29,500,000||$10,000,000|
|12.||She's Having A Baby||1988||$16,031,707||Unknown|
|14.||The Couch Trip||1988||$11,005,304||Unknown|
Jane Curtin solo
Jane Curtin with Bill Murray
|MTV Video Music Awards host
1984 (co-host with Bette Midler)
Dan Aykroyd being interviewed at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
Daniel Edward Aykroyd|
July 1, 1952
Aykroyd was born in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. His parents were Peter and Lorraine Aykroyd. He studied criminology and social science at Carleton University. He dropped out to join a Toronto acting company. Later he went to the United States to pursue his acting career in movies.
Dan Aykroyd is a dedicated Blues fan. For some time he hosted a radio program. He used the alias Elwood Blues. This alias he would later use in the motion pictures The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000. The first of these movies was co-starred by John Belushi, the second one by John Goodman.
Aykroyd is married to Donna Dixon. They are parents of 3 daughters. Dan's brother Peter Ayrkroyd is a researcher.
Unfortunately, we could not find any sentences from other sites similar to those above.