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Dan Aykroyd is a Canadian actor and comedian known for his performances on Saturday Night Live, and in the hit films The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters.
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Dan Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, in Ottawa, Canada. He studied at Carleton University and joined the Second City group in Toronto. He was an original Saturday Night Live cast member, wrote the screenplay and starred in The Blues Brothers, and starred in Ghostbusters. He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Driving Miss Daisy. Aykroyd is married to Donna Dixon and has three children.
"Heaven to me is percussion and bass, a screaming guitar and a burbling Hammond B-3 organ."
"Like my great-grandfather and father before me, I have always been intrigued by ghosts, magic and demonology; and these kinds of subjects figure prominently in our myths."
Born on July 1, 1952, in Ottawa, Canada, actor-comedian Dan Aykroyd is best known for his roles in the films The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. Aykroyd began performing in high school, and explored his interest in comedy while attending Carleton University. Dropping out of college, he eventually made his way to Toronto, where he became part of the famed Second City improvisational troupe in 1973.
With Second City, Aykroyd had a chance to work with other rising talents such as John Candy, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner. He also found work on television, appearing on the short-lived Canadian series Coming Up Rosie.
In 1975, Aykroyd helped make television history when he became part of the original cast of the late night-comedy program Saturday Night Live. He delighted audiences with his skilled impersonations of the likes of President Jimmy Carter, talk show host Tom Snyder and TV chef Julia Child. Aykroyd developed several original characters, including "Beldar," the father of an alien family (this character later spurred the development of the spin-off film Coneheads). Aykroyd and fellow SNL cast member Jane Curtain also served as co-hosts for the program's news segment.
Additionally, Aykroyd, working with John Belushi, developed a musical act called "the Blues Brothers," which first appeared on Saturday Night Live. He played Elwood Blues, a harmonica-playing sidekick to his front-man brother, Jake (Belushi). The duo toured together in 1978 and released three albums, but perhaps their greatest success was the 1980 comedy The Blues Brothers, which went on to become a comedy classic. Aykroyd and Belushi made two more movies together, 1941 (1979) and Neighbors, before Belushi's untimely death in 1982.
After leaving Saturday Night Live in 1979, Aykroyd enjoyed a wave of success as an actor and a screenwriter. He co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the 1983 hit comedy Trading Places. The following year, Aykroyd acted and co-wrote the script for the humorous supernatural blockbuster Ghostbusters. The movie also starred Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and the trio reprised their roles as ghost-hunting scientists in the 1989 sequel. Aykroyd worked with fellow SNL alum Chevy Chase in 1985's Spies Like Us. In 1989, he took on more serious fare with a supporting role in the drama Driving Miss Daisy; Aykroyd received an Academy Award nomination for his work in the Jessica Tandy-Morgan Freeman film.
Along with all of these hits, Aykroyd also had his share of misses.
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