Mike Myers

Mike Myers Biography.com

Film Actor, Actor, Television Actor, Comedian(1963–)
Moving from Saturday Night Live into feature films, including the Austin Powers trilogy, Mike Myers is one of Hollywood's most bankable comedy stars.

Synopsis

Born on May 25, 1963, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Mike Myers gained his comic footing in the Second City Comedy Troupe. He later gained success and fame as a central cast member of Saturday Night Live, creating such characters as Linda Richman and Sprockets, before going on to even greater success in Hollywood films such as Shrek, Wayne's World and the Austin Powers series.

Early Life

A talented comedic writer and actor, Mike Myers was born to British parents in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, on May 25, 1963. His father, Eric, who worked as an encyclopedia salesman, was an important influence on Myers. He shared his love of British comedy with his sons—Myers and his older brothers, Peter and Paul—and sometimes would wake the boys up late at night to watch episodes of Monty Python or Benny Hill.

Myers began his professional career as a child actor, appearing in commercials. After finishing high school, he joined the Toronto outpost of the popular Chicago comedy group Second City. Myers went out on his own for a short period in the mid-1980s, taking his comedy to London, but returned to Toronto after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Not long after his return, Myers met Robin Ruzan, who he later married (in 1993).

Career Highlights

In 1989, Myers auditioned for the popular comedy show Saturday Night Live and quickly won over the show's creator Lorne Michaels. He joined the cast as a featured player that same year, working alongside such other comedic talents as Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon. Myers, becoming a full cast member the following season, created several memorable characters on the show. Viewers enjoyed Dieter, the intellectual German TV host; Wayne Campbell, a rocker with his own cable access show; and Linda Richman, a character modeled after Myers's own future mother-in-law. Myers also did impressions, ranging from Barbra Streisand to the Rolling Stones' Ron Wood.

While on Saturday Night Live, Myers had his first hit film, Wayne's World, in 1992. He reprised his SNL role as Wayne Campbell on the big screen, co-starring with fellow SNL cast mate Dana Carvey. Carvey played Campbell's best friend and show sidekick, Garth. The pair quickly followed up that box office success with the 1993 sequel Wayne's World 2.

Myers left SNL after the 1994-95 season. For a few years, he worked on a new idea. Not long after, he incorporated the swinging 1960s and spy thrillers of England to create Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). This spy spoof featured Myers as the bespectacled title character, as well as several other characters in the film, including Powers's nemesis, Dr. Evil. Elizabeth Hurley plays Powers's love interest in the popular comedy, and Michael York plays his spy boss. The film earned more than $55 million over its opening weekend. In an interview with People magazine, York described what is was like to work with Myers: "It's rare one can use words like 'comic genius' with any meaningfulness, but it's justified."

Austin Powers returned to the big screen two more times, with 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and 2002's Austin Powers in Goldmember. Around this time, Myers also launched another successful film franchise, 2001's animated film Shrek. He lent his voice to the title character, an ogre with a Scottish accent. Myers told Entertainment Weekly about his first reaction to the project: "I thought it was the worst title ever in the world. It sounded like the sound I make after drinking 12 Molson Canadian beers. But I liked the idea of taking the classical fairy tale and turning it on its head, where the traditional villains are heroes." Cameron Diaz voiced Shrek's love interest, Princess Fiona, in the film; the voice of Shrek's sidekick, Donkey, belongs to Eddie Murphy.

In 2003, Myers took on more family friendly fare with the film adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat. He played the magical trouble-making feline in this film, which also featured Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston and Dakota Fanning. Myers then returned to the wildly successful Shrek series, with Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010).

Myers switched things up in 2008, returning to live action with The Love Guru (2008), which he co-wrote. The spiritual comedy starred Myers as an aspiring self-help idol named Guru Pitka, but the film proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment. The following year, he appeared as a British general in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009).

As for Myers's next move, there has been much speculation. Reports have circulated about a possible fourth installment in the Austin Powers franchise, as well as a stage musical prequel based on the scraggly toothed spy.

Personal Life

Myers married his first wife, Robin Ruzan, in 1993, and the couple divorced in 2006. In 2010, Myers married Kelly Tisdale. The couple welcomed a son, Spike, in 2011.

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