Dan Aykroyd
Canadian film actor
Dan Aykroyd
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM is a Canadian comedian, singer, actor and screenwriter. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers 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.
Dan Aykroyd's personal information overview.
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Carrie Fisher's Birth Announcement In 1992 Captured Her Signature Humor
Huffington Post - 2 months
Following the tragic news that Carrie Fisher has passed away, friends and fans are remembering the icon’s talent, brilliance and sharp sense of humor. Fisher’s wit carried her through some of life’s toughest challenges, from her battle with addiction to her mental health struggles. It also punctuated the joyful moments as well, like the birth of her daughter, Billie Lourd. When Billie was born in 1992, Fisher shared the news with a hilarious birth announcement, which she recalled in her first memoir, Wishful Drinking. The announcement was a short poem, which read: Someone summered in my stomach.  Someone`s fallen through my legs.  To make an infant omelette,  Simply scramble sperm and eggs. The actress and writer also got real about her birth experience in Wishful Drinking, writing that her baby “was dragged from [her] body as though it was a burning building.” Fisher also wrote about her love for her daughter, referring to Billie as her “most extraordin ...
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Huffington Post article
Give Me Shelter...With Style!
Huffington Post - 2 months
A photo of SLS Brickell's distinctive exterior at night. Photo Credit: The Related Group. One of the first priorities of early humankind was finding a safe place to live. Before basic tools and the invention of blueprints eventually became sophisticated enough to construct a stand-alone home, a defensible 'pre-fab' cave with a burning campfire would do for protection. A building boom of sorts spread through primitive societies, propelled by pioneering "architects" who incorporated creature comforts with structural soundness. Whether a mud hut, a scaffold-like teepee or cliff-side condo, one innovation after another--especially indoor plumbing--contributed to an expanding and flowing fabricated environment that continued to evolve, and there is evidence that many early dwellings also incorporated art works, such as murals of bison, Pompeiian mosaic floors, or tall stone carvings of abstracted humanoid forms. As the grand cities of America began to shoot upwards into the sky as usea ...
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Huffington Post article
Dan Aykroyd: Leslie Jones haters like Trump supporters
CNN - 7 months
Dan Aykroyd has a theory about the haters who targeted Leslie Jones.
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CNN article
Wednesday's TV Highlights: 'Greenleaf' on OWN
LATimes - 8 months
SERIES Jay Leno's Garage In this new episode Leno practices high-speed maneuvers with the Los Angeles Police Department, then talks “Ghostbusters” and “The Blues Brothers” with Dan Aykroyd. 7 and 10 p.m. CNBC Big Brother A new houseful of guests arrives at their isolated singles pad as this unscripted...
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LATimes article
10 Signs That You May Be a Twainiac
Huffington Post - about 1 year
"An American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person he generally selects Mark Twain." - Thomas Edison Mark Twain was the most famous and beloved American during his lifetime, and his popularity continues to soar. His books are published in dozens of languages, he is quoted (and misquoted) more than any other American author, and when Smithsonian magazine named the 100 most significant Americans last year, Mark Twain was at the top of the list under "Pop Icons." Mark Twain's Facebook page has more than 2 million fans. New books, songs, and films tell his story, reinterpret his work, or honor his legacy in some way. He has more fans than ever, and some are noticeably more 'fanatical' than others. These are the fans known as "Twainiacs." Do you suspect that you or someone you know might be a Twainiac? It's a condition that appears to be growing. As a self-identified Twainiac, I believe I can alert you to a few signs that will confirm or refute your s ...
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Huffington Post article
Women Bust Ghosts Too
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The new Ghostbusters movie will have an all-female team, which in the real ghost-busting world is not so strange. Ghost hunting is one area of the paranormal that includes a lot of female participation. So much so, that I have known guys who have gotten into ghost hunting primarily to meet girls - and it has worked. The all-female crew in the new Ghostbusters movie looking badass. The movie is set to release in the summer of 2016. (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures) I decided to ask a long term ghost hunting friend of mine, Rosemary Ellen Guilley, her thoughts on women's interests in ghosts and the all-female crew in the new Ghostbusters. Guilley has written over 60 books on paranormal and metaphysical topics, including The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. She has researched and hunted ghosts for decades and lectures at paranormal conferences regularly. Guilley answered a few questions for me via email. According to Guilley, women's personal paranormal experiences are the pr ...
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Huffington Post article
The 12 Movie 'Bests' of Christmas
Huffington Post - about 1 year
There are so many great Christmas movies that it's hard to know where to aim your remote at this time of year. Between classic Yuletide favorites, films whose Christmas segments have turned them into seasonal fare and an explosion of TV movies, the options are endless. Feel free to challenge my picks, but here's where my DVD and VCR gravitate each December -- the holiday movies I like best. Best Santa: Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street, of course. In or out of uniform, he's so generous, wise and kindly he makes a believer out of everybody, even world-weary moppet Natalie Wood. Best Scrooge: Nobody's ever topped Alastair Sim in the 1951 A Christmas Carol - and yes, not only is it a remake, but it was the 18th if you count TV versions! He looks the part and inhabits it perfectly, right down to his Christmas-morning giddiness. But Bill Murray's modern Ebenezer, morphing from smarmy TV exec to born-again philanthropist in Scrooged, gets honorable mention. Best non-Christma ...
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Huffington Post article
Your First Look At The New 'Ghostbusters' Is Here And It's Epic
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Who you gonna call when you see the first official photo of the new all-female "Ghostbusters" team?  Probably Moviefone, TBH, to see if advance ticket sales have started for the Paul Feig-directed movie, which comes out July 15, 2016. Because the ladies look totally badass.  The four leads -- Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones -- stand in tan uniforms reminiscent of those worn by the original squad, in the middle of a mysterious room marked by an industrial-grade fog machine and an eerie neon green light. They're all prepared to bust some ghosts with their proton packs -- which also look pretty close to the weapons in the original.  The superfans at Planet Ghostbusters were among the first to post the photo:  The new movie -- called simply "Ghostbusters" -- reboots the blockbuster franchise more than 30 years after the release of the original, which was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The movie began filming in Boston (which ...
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Huffington Post article
When College Curricula Fail: 'Who You Gonna Call?'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
In the first act of 1984's Ghostbusters, the university dean tells our parapsychologist heroes that their funding has been pulled and they have to get off the campus immediately. Dr. Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, responds "But the kids love us." Truth is stranger than fiction. Bill Murray's line is the excuse for the American university's indulgence of macabre, niche courses in today's college curricula: The kids love them. In college catalogs across the country, there are courses like "Wizards & Vampires in Film, TV, and Literature" (Chadron State College), and "Using our Brains: An Interdisciplinary Study of Zombies in Popular Culture" (University of Denver). But thirsty vampires and zombies feeding on brains rarely nourish the intellect. And these courses are feeding on your wallet. It's a feeding frenzy. At the University of Denver, for example, the cost of attendance is $57,498 per year. Taking this first-year seminar course on zombies (which is an introductory c ...
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Huffington Post article
Top 10 'SNL' Political Sketches Of All Time
Huffington Post - over 1 year
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dan Aykroyd
  • 2016
    Age 63
    Aykroyd was one of the executive producers of Ghostbusters, a long-discussed reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, which was released in 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Aykroyd had a cameo appearance in the film, along with many of the rest of the original Ghostbusters cast. He is set to narrate Defend - Conserve - Protect, a crowdfunded documentary directed by Stephen Amis about the work of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Aykroyd participated in the recording of "We Are the World" in 1985. Aykroyd wrote the liner notes for fellow Ottawa born blues musician JW-Jones' album Bluelisted in 2008. He also hosts the nationally, now internationally as well, syndicated radio show "Elwood's BluesMobile", formerly known as House of Blues Radio Hour, under his Blues Brothers moniker Elwood Blues. In 1992, Aykroyd and Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Isaac Tigrett founded the House of Blues, a chain of music venues, with the mission to promote African-American cultural contributions of blues music and folk art. Many other music and Hollywood personalities helped to finance it at its start. It began as a single location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, although other locations quickly followed, starting with a venue in New Orleans in 1994. In 2004 House of Blues became the second-largest live music promoter in the world, with seven venues and 22 amphitheaters in the United States and Canada. It was bought by Live Nation in 2006.
  • 2015
    Age 62
    Finally, in 2015, he stated during a HuffPost Show interview with hosts Roy Sekoff and Marc Lamont Hill that his AS was "never diagnosed" but was "sort of a self-diagnosis" based on several of his own characteristics.
    More Details Hide Details 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. He currently serves as a Reserve Deputy of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department in Hinds County, Mississippi. He supports the Reserves with a fundraiser concert along with other Blues and Gospel singers in the State of Mississippi. In an appearance on the Today show, Aykroyd referred to himself and John Belushi as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi," Aykroyd claims that Belushi was the only man he could ever dance with.
    In 2015, he appeared in a State Farm insurance commercial along with Jane Curtin, as the Coneheads, talking to "Jake", a State Farm agent.
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    In Rolling Stone Magazines February 2015 appraisal of all 141 SNL cast members to date, Aykroyd was ranked fifth (behind Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, and Mike Myers). "Of all the original SNL greats, Aykroyd is the least imitated", they wrote, "because nobody else can do what he did."
    More Details Hide Details 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 show of March 9, 2013.
  • 2013
    Age 60
    He described additional details about his conditions in a 2013 DailyMail.com interview when he stated that "I was diagnosed with Tourette's at 12.
    More Details Hide Details I had physical tics, nervousness and made grunting noises and it affected how outgoing I was. I had therapy which really worked and by 14 my symptoms eased. I also have Asperger's but I can manage it. It wasn’t diagnosed until the early Eighties when my wife persuaded me to see a doctor."
  • 2011
    Age 58
    Aykroyd appeared in two February 2011 episodes of CBS's The Defenders, which starred Jim Belushi.
    More Details Hide Details He also appeared on Top Chef Canada as a guest judge.
  • 2010
    Age 57
    In 2010, he played the voice of the title character, Yogi Bear, in the live-action/CGI-animated-film Yogi Bear.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Aykroyd and Chevy Chase guest starred in the Family Guy episode "Spies Reminiscent of Us", an homage to Spies Like Us.
  • 2009
    Age 56
    In 2009, Aykroyd and Ramis wrote and appeared in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which also featured Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Brian Doyle-Murray.
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  • 2001
    Age 48
    In 2001, he starred in the Woody Allen film The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
    More Details Hide Details Most of his film roles since then 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.
  • 1997
    Age 44
    In 1997, he starred as an Episcopal priest in the ABC sitcom Soul Man which lasted two seasons.
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  • 1994
    Age 41
    In 1994, Aykroyd made a guest appearance in an episode of the sitcom The Nanny as a refrigerator repairman.
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  • 1991
    Age 38
    Aykroyd's directorial debut was 1991's Nothing but Trouble starring Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Aykroyd, sporting a bulbous prosthetic nose.
    More Details Hide Details The film was a critical and box office flop. Aykroyd's other films in the 1990s were mostly similarly poorly-received, including Coneheads (also based on a Saturday Night Live skit), Exit to Eden, Blues Brothers 2000, and Getting Away with Murder, all of which were poorly received. Two exceptions were Tommy Boy (1995), which starred SNL alumni David Spade and Chris Farley, in which Aykroyd played the role of Ray Zalinsky, and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), in which Aykroyd had a well-received role as a rival hit man.
  • 1989
    Age 36
    Aykroyd was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy.
    More Details Hide Details He was the second SNL cast member to be nominated for an Oscar, the first being Joan Cusack.
    A sequel to Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, was released in 1989; Aykroyd and the other co-creators were reluctant to make another Ghostbusters film but succumbed to pressure from the film's studio, Columbia Pictures.
    More Details Hide Details The film, though it was considered inferior to the original, was another big hit, earning.
  • 1988
    Age 35
    Aykroyd appeared in five films released in 1988, all of them critical and commercial failures.
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  • 1987
    Age 34
    1987 saw the release of Dragnet, which Aykroyd co-starred in (with Tom Hanks) and co-wrote.
    More Details Hide Details The film was both an homage and a satire of the previous Dragnet series, with Aykroyd playing Sgt. Joe Friday as a police officer whose law-and-order attitude is at odds with modern sensibilities.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    Aykroyd's next major film role was in the 1985 spy comedy film Spies Like Us, which like The Blues Brothers was co-conceived and co-written by Aykroyd, and directed by Landis.
    More Details Hide Details Aykroyd had again intended for Belushi to be the other lead in the film; the part was instead given to SNL alumnus Chevy Chase. The film was intended as an homage to the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road to" movies of the 1940s to 1960s. Bob Hope made a cameo appearance in the film.
  • 1984
    Age 31
    Ghostbusters was released in 1984 and became a huge success for Aykroyd, who also appeared as one of the lead actors; the film earned nearly on a budget.
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  • 1983
    Age 30
    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).
    More Details Hide Details 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 in a 2004 NPR interview with host Terry Gross as having been analyzed in childhood with Tourette syndrome (TS) as well as Asperger syndrome (AS). He stated that his TS was successfully treated with therapy.
    One of his best-received performances was as a blueblood-turned-wretch in the 1983 comedy Trading Places, in which he co-starred with fellow SNL alumnus Eddie Murphy as well as Jamie Lee Curtis.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1980s, Aykroyd began work on a script for the film that eventually became Ghostbusters, inspired by his fascination with parapsychology. The script initially included a much greater fantasy element, including time travel, but this was toned down substantially through work on the script with Harold Ramis (who became a co-writer) and director Ivan Reitman. Aykroyd originally wrote the role of Dr. Peter Venkman 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 was based on Belushi's party animal personality.
  • 1982
    Age 29
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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." Aykroyd was openly hostile to the 1989 film Wired, a biopic of Belushi (which featured Aykroyd as a character played by actor Gary Groomes), and has since refused to work with anyone involved in the film. He had actor J.T. Walsh fired from the film Loose Cannons after Walsh had already done two days of filming, after finding out that Walsh had been in the cast of Wired. Aykroyd considers himself a Spiritualist, stating that: 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.
  • 1980
    Age 27
    The band was much further popularized in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, which Aykroyd co-wrote.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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.
  • 1977
    Age 24
    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.
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  • 1975
    Age 22
    Aykroyd was the youngest member of the cast, and appeared on the show for its first four seasons, from 1975-79.
    More Details Hide Details He 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.
  • 1973
    Age 20
    He was a member of the Second City comedy troupe in 1973 in both Toronto and Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. He was originally hired, and paid $278 a week, as a writer for the show, but became a part of the cast before the series premiered. The original cast was referred to on the show as "The Not Ready For Prime Time Players".
  • 1952
    Aykroyd was born on Canada Day (July 1), 1952, at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
    More Details Hide Details He grew up in Ottawa, Canada's 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, is also an actor. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly, or webbed toes, which was revealed in the film 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, a condition that causes the irises of the eyes to be differently colored. In Aykroyd's case, his right eye is blue and his left is brown. Aykroyd was raised in the Catholic Church, and until age 17 he intended to become a priest. 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.
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