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Denis Leary is a comedian and actor who has become as well known for his TV drama Rescue Me as for any comedy he's done.
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Denis Leary's short comedy spots on MTV made him famous, and he followed these with success in films such as The Ref, True Crime and the animated Ice Age. Leary's TV drama, Rescue Me, which he created, produces, and stars in, brought him acclaim in the drama realm, and his Fund for New York's Bravest is an inspirational charity that helps the families of firefighters who died on 9/11.
Comedian, actor, writer and producer was born on August 18, 1957, in Worcester, Massachusetts. After becoming popular as a fast-talking, sarcastic comedian in the 1990s, Denis Leary has demonstrated his ability to be a dramatic performer and creative force behind the camera. Born into a blue-collar Irish family, he did not consider an acting career until a teacher persuaded him to perform in a school production. Leary later attended Emerson College and was one of the founders of the Emerson Comedy Workshop. After graduation, he briefly taught acting and screenwriting at the school. All the while, Leary continued to develop his comic talents, doing stand-up at the local comedy clubs.
After a few years in New York City, Leary traveled to London to appear on a television show in 1990. Traveling with him was his pregnant wife Ann. Unfortunately, during their stay, her water broke and their son Jack was born prematurely. Because of their son's health crisis, they had to remain in the country for several months. Despite of his difficult family situation, Leary was able to write his first one-man show, No Cure for Cancer.
It seemed that nothing was off-limits for Leary in No Cure for Cancer. Along with the title subject, he ranted about everything from war to the muppets. His sharp, funny observations—delivered in an angry, rapid-fire style and accompanying cigarettes and obscenities—made him a huge hit with audiences. They also enjoyed the show's humorous songs. After the show debuted at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in 1990, Leary performed it in London and in New York City, earning strong reviews. The show later aired on the Showtime cable network as a comedy special.
But it was Leary's short comedy spots on the MTV cable network that made him nationally known. These clips featured him launching into a quick verbal assault on popular figures, such as the rock group R.E.M., and other topics, including racism. And usually, Leary delivered these clever quips while holding his trademark cigarette. Concerned about typecasting, he took a leading role in The Ref (1994). In the film, he played a burglar who takes a bickering married couple hostage, gets ensnared in their family squabbles and ends up acting as a peacemaker for the dysfunctional family.
While some of his film choices seem questionable, such as the box office bomb Operation Dumbo Drop (1995), he has given strong performances in several movies. Wag the Dog (1997) gave him the chance to work two legendary performers, including Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman.
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