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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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That same year, Leary gave fans another taste of his dark, gritty humor with his cable comedy special Lock 'N Load.
Returning to films, True Crime (1999) put him on screen with famed actor-director Clint Eastwood. But perhaps his greatest box office success has been as the voice of a sabertooth tiger named Diego in Ice Age (2002) and its sequel Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006).
Recently, Leary has been making a splash on the small screen with the hit cable series, Rescue Me. Although his earlier attempt at starring in a television series, The Job, did not last long, his second effort struck a cord with viewers and critics alike. Rescue Me, which debuted in 2004, follows the life and work of a crew of firefighters in uptown Manhattan after the September 11th tragedy.
Leary plays Tommy Gavin, a firefighter haunted by the death of his cousin and plagued many personal problems. He understands his character's loss all too well, having lost his own cousin and a childhood friend in a 1999 blaze in Worcester, Massachusetts. While the show has comic elements, it is grounded in the gritty reality of the dangers and hazards firefighters must face. In addition to being its star, Leary is also an executive producer and writer for the series. He has been nominated for three Emmy Awards—for Outstanding Actor in Drama Series in 2006 and in 2007 and for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2005 along with friend and frequent collaborator Peter Tolan.
Rescue Me is just one of the many projects Leary has done through the production company, Apostle, which he co-founded with Jim Serpico in 1994. Their company has a series called Canterbury's Law, which has been picked up by the Fox television network. In 2007, Variety reported that Apostle signed a three-year deal with Sony. Apostle plans on producing between eight to 10 projects per year. The company also produces the annual fund-raising event for the Cam Neely Foundation, Comics Come Home. The stand-up comedy benefit has been broadcast on Comedy Central and has featured the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart, and many others over the years.
In addition to supporting the Cam Neely Foundation, Leary has established his own organization to help others. After the death of his cousin and his friend in 1999, he established the Leary Firefighters Foundation, which has supported the families of the firefighters that died in that blaze—known as the "Worcester 6"—and supplied new equipment for that fire department as well as many other departments. To raise money, Leary hosts an annual ice hockey event that pits celebrities against legendary hockey stars.
After the September 11th tragedy, the foundation created the Fund for New York's Bravest to help the families of firefighters who died in the line of duty that day. The fund also provided money and support for equipment and training before it closed in 2003.
Leary lives in Connecticut with his wife and their two children, Jack and Devin.
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