Dan Aykroyd: Biography
Actor, born in Ottawa, Canada. He studied at Carleton University, Ottawa, joined the Second City Comedy improvisation group in Toronto, made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian, then joined the cast of the anarchic television show Saturday Night Live (1975–9). He wrote the screenplay for and starred in The Blues Brothers (1980), appeared in Ghostbusters (1984), and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his first dramatic role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Later films include Exit to Eden (1994), Feeling Minnesota (1996), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Antz (voice, 1999), and Bright Young Things (2003). His albums include Briefcase Full of Blues, Made in America, The Blues Brothers, and Best of the Blues Brothers.
Dan Aykroyd: Career
Aykroyd made his feature-film debut in 1977 in the Canadian comedy Love at First Sight, but neither it nor his subsequent film, Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, were successful. His first major Hollywood screen venture was as a co-lead in Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979). But Aykroyd still did not earn much recognition until 1980, when he and Belushi reprised their popular SNL characters in The Blues Brothers, a terrifically successful venture that managed to become both one of the most often-quoted films of the decade and a true cult classic. Aykroyd and Belushi went on to team up one more time for Neighbors (1981) before Belushi's death in 1982. Aykroyd's subsequent films in the '80s ranged from the forgettable to the wildly successful, with all-out comedies such as Ghostbusters (1984) and Dragnet (1987) falling into the latter category. Many of these films allowed him to collaborate with some of Hollywood's foremost comedians, including fellow SNL alumni Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Eddie Murphy, as well as Tom Hanks and the late John Candy. In such pairings, Aykroyd usually played the straight man -- typically an uptight intellectual or a latent psycho. He tried his hand at drama in 1989 as Jessica Tandy's son in Driving Miss Daisy and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
During the '90s, Aykroyd's career began to falter as he appeared in one disappointment after another. Although there were successes like My Girl (1991), Chaplin (1992), Casper (1995), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and Antz (1998), the all-out flops -- The Coneheads (1993), Exit to Eden (1994), Sgt. Bilko (1996) -- were plentiful. Likewise, the long-awaited Blues Brothers sequel, Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), proved to be a great disappointment. Aykroyd, however, continued to maintain a screen profile, starring as Kirk Douglas' son in the family drama Diamonds in 1999. During the next few years, he took on many small supporting roles, playing a shifty businessman in the period drama The House of Mirth (2000), Woody Allen's boss in The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), and pop star Britney Spears' father in her screen debut, Crossroads (2002)
Dan Aykroyd: Films
Christmas with the Kranks/Are We There Yet? 2-Pack (2005), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Bright Young Things (2004), 50 First Dates (2004), Crossroads (2002), Earth Vs. The Spider (2001), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Evolution (2001), Pearl Harbor (2001), Dying to Get Rich (2000), The House of Mirth (2000), Stardom (2000), Loser (2000), Diamonds (1999), Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), My Fellow Americans (1996), Feeling Minnesota (1996), Celtic Pride (1996), Getting Away With Murder (1996), SGT. Bilko (1996), Canadian Bacon (1995), Tommy Boy (1995), Exit to Eden (1994), North (1994), My Girl 2 (1994), Coneheads (1993), Chaplin (1992), Sneakers (1992),
This Is My Life (1992), My Girl (1991), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Loose Cannons (1990), Masters of Menace (1990), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Ghostbusters II (1989), My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988), Caddyshack II (1988), The Great Outdoors (1988), The Couch Trip (1988), Dragnet (1987), We Are the World - The Story Behind the Song (1985), Spies Like Us (1985), Into the Night (1985), Ghostbusters (1984), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Doctor Detroit (1983), Trading Places (1983), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Neighbors (1981), The Blues Brothers (1980), Mr. Mike's Mondo Video (1979),1941 (1979), Grateful Dead - The Closing of Winterland (1978), Love at First Sight (1978),
Rutles, The: All You Need Is Cash (1978), Unconditional Love (2003)