DAN AYKROYD Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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NAME: Dan Aykroyd
  BORN: 01/07/1952
  BIRTH PLACE: Ottawa, Canada


Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on 1st July 1952 to strict Roman Catholic Parents in Ottawa, Canada. His father was an eminent civil engineer and often used corporal punishment to discipline his son. However, Dan’s extrovert and hyperactive personality could not be stifled and he was often in trouble, getting expelled from his strict Catholic seminary school for ‘minor delinquency’.


Fortunately, this outgoing streak equipped Dan well for comedy and acting. From the age of twelve he attended and flourished in acting lessons. During his childhood Dan also discovered an affinity for blues music and an interest in the paranormal, bith of which became important in his later career.


Once out of school, Aykroyd attended Carleton University. He studied psychology, criminal sociology and political science. Acting was still a large part of his life, and he was part of the college’s ‘Sock and Buskin Drama Guild’. His focus shifted more towards acting after college.


He found time, between managing a nightclub and being a commercial pitchman, to join the famed ‘Second City Acting Troupe’, and he went on to become one of the founding cast members of the television show, ‘Saturday Night Live’. Aykroyd devised a number of hilarious characters: He parodied Nixon, portraying him as a used car salesman; he used his paranormal curiosities to create ‘The Cone Heads’; he also became ‘wild and crazy guy’, Yortuck Festrunk.


This show gave him an opportunity to reach a wider audience and work with legendary comedians like John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin.


Aykroyd’s relationship with John Belushi would become particularly strong, and they soon became writing partners. Under Belushi’s influence, Aykroyd began to branch out into movies. Unfortunately many of these were flops, both critically and at the box office. The pair also started dabbling with music and they founded a touring blues duo. Wearing their trademark black suits and sunglasses, Belushi would sing while Aykroyd would accompany him on the harmonica.


They were remarkably popular and eventually this inspired the hit movie ‘The Blues Brothers’, in which they starred together as renegade musicians. By now Aykroyd was achieving massive popularity, if not critical success. To consolidate their fortune Aykroyd and Belushi quit SNL in 1979 and focused totally on movies.


Tragically John Belushi, Aykroyd’s partner and dear friend, died on 5th March 1982. The loss affected Dan massively. However, despite his pain, he continued his movie career. Success followed with ‘Trading Places’ with Eddie Murphy and the immense ‘Ghostbusters’, which he co-wrote. With these movies, Dan had firmly established himself as a gifted and intelligent comedian with critics and the public alike.


His credits steadily and rapidly increased, and Aykroyd was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his part in ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. He continues in a prolific vein and is still a common sight on movie screens today.


A notoriously private person, Dan Aykroyd seems to be living happily today. He expends a great deal of energy managing a restaurant chain he founded, ‘The House of Blues’. He has three children by his present wife, actress Donna Dixon.