DENIS LEARY Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Denis Colin Leary                                                                   
Born: 18 August 1957 Worcester, Massachusetts U.S.                                         
Denis Colin Leary (born August 18, 1957) is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominated       
American actor, comedian, writer and director. He is known for his often angry             
comedic style, and his frequent chain smoking. Leary displays an overt affinity           
for libertarianism. Leary is currently the star and co-creator of the television           
show Rescue Me.                                                                           
Denis Leary was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Irish Catholic immigrants             
John Leary (an auto mechanic) and Nora (a maid); Leary holds both Irish and               
American citizenship. He graduated from Saint Peter-Marian High School in                 
Worcester. Through marriage, Leary is a distant cousin of talk show host Conan O'Brien,   
and has jokingly said on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that "All Irish people             
are related." His name is often misspelled as "Dennis", instead of "Denis."               
Leary is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, where he was classmates with             
fellow comic Mario Cantone, who to this day remains his closest friend. Comedian           
Steven Wright and actress Gina Gershon also attended Emerson at the same time as           
Leary. At the school, he founded the Emerson Strip and Sweat Shop, a troupe that           
continues to thrive on-campus to the present day. After graduating with the               
Emerson Class of 1979, he took up a job with the school teaching comedy writing           
classes and maintained the job for five years. Leary was honored with an                   
honorary doctorate and spoke briefly at his alma mater's undergraduate                     
commencement ceremony on May 16, 2005.                                                     
Leary started in career as a comedian in the notorious Boston comedy scene of             
the 1980s, where he hosted his own show at the underground club "Play It Again             
Sam". He also wrote and appeared on a local comedy series, Lenny Clarke's Late             
Show, hosted by his friend Lenny Clarke and written by Boston comedy writer               
Martin Olson. Leary and Clarke both spoke about their early affiliations and               
influences in the Boston comedy scene in the documentary film When Standup Stood           
Out (2006).                                                                               
Leary first became famous through an MTV sketch in which he ranted about R.E.M.           
Several other commercials for MTV followed, in which Leary would rant at high             
speeds about a variety of topics. He has released two records of his stand-up             
comedy: No Cure for Cancer (1993) and Lock 'n Load (1997). In late 2004 he                 
released the EP Merry F#%$in' Christmas, which included a mix of new music,               
previously unreleased recordings, and some tracks from Lock 'n Load.                       
In 1993, his sardonic song about the American lower-middle-class male, "Asshole",         
achieved much notoriety. It was voted #1 in a major Australian youth radio poll           
(the Triple J Hottest 100) as well as reaching #2 in the singles chart in that             
country. The video also became a staple of MTV's late-night programming. Due to           
its explicit and controversial content, however, it received limited airplay on           
mainstream American radio stations. At the 2004 Comics Come Home in Boston,               
Massachusetts, Denis performed a new version of the song directed at the New               
York Yankees, and as the song concluded, Bronson Arroyo walked on stage with the           
World Series trophy. The song was also used as part of the Holsten Pils series             
of ads in the UK which Leary was participating in, with adapted lyrics                     
criticizing a drunk driver.                                                               
Although he says he is most at home on stage doing stand-up, Leary has appeared           
as an actor in over 40 movies, including The Sandlot, Monument Ave., The Match             
Maker, The Ref, Suicide Kings, Dawg, Wag the Dog, Demolition Man, The Thomas               
Crown Affair and Operation Dumbo Drop. He has had the lead role in two                     
television series, The Job and Rescue Me. In addition, Leary has provided voices           
for characters in animated films such as a medium fire-breathing dragon, Flame             
from the The Agents series, a saber-toothed tiger named 'Diego' in Ice Age and             
its sequel Ice Age 2 and 'Francis' in A Bug's Life. He has produced (and still             
produces) numerous movies, television shows, and specials through his production           
company Apostle; these include Comedy Central's Shorties Watchin' Shorties, the           
stand-up special Denis Leary's Merry F#$%in' Christmas, and the movie Blow. As a           
Boston Red Sox fan, he narrated the official 2004 World Series film. In 2006,             
Leary and Lenny Clarke appeared on television during a Red Sox telecast and,               
upon realizing that Red Sox 1st baseman Kevin Youkilis is Jewish, delivered a             
criticism of Mel Gibson's anti-semitic comments. As a hockey fan, Leary                   
also hosted the National Hockey League video, NHL's Greatest Goals                         
In 2003, Comedy Central honored Denis Leary in the Comedy Central Roast of Denis           
Leary. Friend Jeff Garlin acted as roastmaster. Roasters included Mario Cantone,           
Adam Ferrara, Jim Breuer, Nick DiPaolo, Don Gavin, Christopher Walken, Lenny               
Clarke, Gina Gershon, Conan O'Brien, Gilbert Gottfried, Colin Quinn and Michael           
J. Fox.                                                                                   
Leary is now the star and co-creator of FX's Rescue Me. He plays Tommy Gavin, a           
New York City fire fighter dealing with alcoholism, family dysfunction, and               
other issues in post-9/11 New York City. Leary received Emmy nominations in 2006           
and 2007 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance.