Dan Aykroyd (born 1.7.1952)
Dan Aykroyd is a Canadian comedian and actor. He rose to fame with his performances on Saturday Night Live and as cast member of The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters.
Childhood: Dan Aykroyd was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian capital. His father, Samuel was a civil engineer and his French Canadian mother Lorraine was a secretary. He was born with webbed feet (as was revealed in a Saturday Night Live sketch, 'Don't Look Back In Anger') and different coloured eyes.
Aykroyd was expelled from St. Patrick's College, when his show-and-tell piece was a pig dressed up as the Pope. He later dropped out of his criminology course at Carleton University.
Aykroyd's comedy career began in a number of Canadian nightclubs. He later joined The Second City comedy troupe and found work in the National Lampoon's stage shows.
The Breakthrough: Aykroyd's big break came on Saturday Night Live. For the show's first four seasons (1975-79), Aykroyd was a writer and a cast member. Monty Python's Eric Idle has commented that Dan Aykroyd was the only Saturday Night Live cast member that was capable of joining Monty Python. This was largely due to his comic timing, as well as his impersonations of well-known figures such as Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. Aykroyd received an Emmy award in 1977, for his work on the program. In 2003, Aykroyd returned to the show to host that season's finale.
Life Beyond Saturday Night Live: When Aykroyd first met John Belushi, he put on a blues record in the background. This fuelled the material for their Blues Brothers act. The band released their first album Briefcase Full of Blues in 1978 and continue to tour, with original members, Lou Marini, Steve Cropper, Donald 'Duck' Dunn' and Eddie Floyd. Belushi died in 1982, just weeks before they were due to present the 'Visual Effects' Academy Award.
The House of Blues was co-founded by Aykroyd in 1992, with the purpose of promoting blues and folk music of African-American origin. The company was sold to Live Nation in 2007. Until the sale, it had been the second biggest promoter of live music in the world.
Dan Aykroyd went on to star in a number of comedy films, with varying results. Notably, he starred alongside his friend John Belushi, in The Blues Brothers, 1941 and Neighbors. One his more critically acclaimed performances was in the comic-drama, Trading Places.
Perhaps his biggest success, the film Ghostbusters featured Aykroyd as writer, creator and lead actor. It was his interest in parapsychology that led to the film's creation.
In 1989, Dan Aykroyd won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, for his role in the film Driving Miss Daisy.
Later on in his career, Aykroyd showed a tendency for taking small roles in major studio productions. He appeared as a neurologist in 50 First Dates and as a signals analyst in Pearl Harbour.
Building on the Ghostbusters legacy, Dan Aykroyd announced in 2007 that he would be providing his voice for a CGI sequel to the previous Ghostbusters films. In addition to this, he will be featured in a Ghostbusters video game.
Personal Life: Dan Aykroyd has previously been engaged to the actress Carrie Fisher (Star Wars). In 1983, he married the actress Donna Dixon. He appeared in a number of films with Dixon, including The Couch Trip, Spies Like Us and Doctor Detroit. The pair have three daughters, Danielle (b.1989), Belle Kingston (b.1993) and Stella Irene August (b.1998).
In 2006, Aykroyd signed a deal with Niagara Cellars, who own four vineyards in the Niagara area of Canada and will sell red and white names that bear Dan Aykroyd's name.
Donna Dixon and Dan Aykroyd - Celebrities attend American Film Institute's 43rd Life Achievement Award Gala at Dolby Theatre. at Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 4th June 2015
Dan Aykroyd - Dan Akyroyd meets and greets fans at a signing of Special Crystal Head Vodka bottles. He is joined by the Blues Brothers Soul Band, who are performing at STACHE bar. at Stache - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States - Friday 20th March 2015
Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon - A host of stars including previous cast members were snapped as they arrived to the Rockerfeller Plaza for Saturday Night Live as it celebrated it's 40th anniversary with a star studded gala in New York, United States - Monday 16th February 2015
With an appropriately jarring sense of energy, this James Brown biopic acutely captures the Godfather of Soul's iconic musical talents, although the fragmented script undermines any emotional kick in his story. The film also struggles to build up momentum, because it continually leaps between various chapters in Brown's life. Which means that it never quite connects these disparate episodes into one coherent narrative. Even so, Chadwick Boseman delivers an electrically charged central performance.
Boseman plays James from the time he was 16, thrown into prison for stealing a suit in 1949, until his comeback in the 1990s. Raised in a brothel run by his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer) after his parents (Viola Davis and Lennie James) abandoned him, James is in prison when he meets visiting gospel singer Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis), who takes him in on his release. Together they form The Famous Flames, gaining small-time success as James catches the eye of a manager (Dan Aykroyd), a record executive (Fred Melamed) and the public. A string of major hits followed in the 1950s and 60s, then James went solo in the 70s before the usual issues of fame caught up with him: money, drugs and guns. But he returned to the stage in the 1990s.
The film completely skips over his Hollywood years in the 80s, which wouldn't be a problem if the decade was so notably missing from the film. As the story skips back and forth through the years, the audience is forced to make sense of the disparate scenes, filling in several holes along the way. Aside from one rather surreal scene in a Southern Gospel church, there's never much of a sense of how Brown found his voice or developed his inimitable style. It also never quite captures his impact on the music industry as a whole.
Continue reading: Get On Up Review
James Brown's incredible Apollo revue remembered by Mick Jagger and Dan Aykroyd.
James Brown is well-known as one of the greatest American entertainers of all time and his brand new biopic, 'Get On Up' starring Chadwick Boseman displays some of the most memorable moments in his life - most notably, his 1960s show at Harlem's Apollo theater.
Chadwick Boseman stars as dance pioneer James Brown in 'Get On Up'
Star Dan Aykroyd, who plays James Brown's manager Ben Bart in the film, describes his own experience of the hit Apollo show; a non-stop revue that brought him worldwide acclaim and recognition when it was recorded for his 1963 live album 'Live At The Apollo'. 'I remember it, when the show started, James came out and then you had four other dancing girls, then you had two timpani players and then there were probably 25 people on stage', Aykroyd recalls. 'It just never stopped. Then it went into 'Sex Machine'; it just ripped the roof off the place and tore everybody's hair out.'
Continue reading: How James Brown's Famed Apollo Show Inspired 'Get On Up' Creators
The cast and crew of forthcoming James Brown biopic 'Get On Up' talk about the legacy of the pioneering entertainer and the impact he had following his spectacular live show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem which was subsequently transposed to his 1963 live album entitled 'Live At The Apollo'.
With an all female reboot on the way, the original ‘Ghostbusters’ cast has come together for the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
It may have been 30 years since the first Ghostbusters movie hit the big screen, but the franchise is still as popular and beloved as ever. But while the original cast will sadly not be reuniting for a third movie, they have all managed to come together again to grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Reunions’ issue.
Continue reading: The Cast Of 'Ghostbusters' Reunites For 30th Anniversary!
Dan Aykroyd wants to create a Marvel style universe for Ghostbusters.
The notion of a rebooted Ghostbusters franchise became a little more palatable this week when co-creator and original star Dan Aykroyd revealed his ambitions for more than just a one-off return. Speaking in London, Aykroyd, 62, said he had been looking at larger more lucrative models including Marvel for inspiration.
Ghostbusters could be in good hands with Aykroyd - if he gets on with things
"It's beyond just another sequel, a prequel, another TV show. I'm thinking what does the whole brand mean to Sony?" he asked, "What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?". Akroyd said that he, the creatives, executives and Ivan Reitman - who would direct the first movie - are looking as far ahead as 2014 for future projects.
Continue reading: Dan Aykroyd Plans Marvel Style Universe for 'Ghostbusters' Reboots
Stars hit the red carpet for the New York premiere of Get on Up, while Bradley Cooper and Uma Thurman film on the streets of London. And the first trailers arrive for Kevin Smith's Tusk, Mockingjay Part 1, The Hobbit Part 3 and the Mad Max reboot...
The stars came out for the New York premiere this week of Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as Godfather of Soul James Brown. He was joined on the red carpet by costars Dan Aykroyd and Tika Sumpter, as well as soul singer Bobby Byrd and rock icon Mick Jagger. The film opens this weekend in the US and next month in America.
'Get On Up' stars Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd with his wife Donna Dixon were among arrivals at the movie's premiere held at The Apollo Theater in New York. The actors star as DeeDee Brown and Ben Bart respectively in the James Brown biopic which is directed by Tate Taylor and has Chadwick Boseman in the lead role.
Since he was a child, he knew he'd become a star. He may not have had the easiest life growing up in a poor family and enjoying frequent brushes with the law (something that continued for the rest of his life despite his illustrious career), but he was a pioneer in what he did best. Following his first stint in prison as a teenager, he embarked on a musical career that would create a whole new way of looking at music. His funky rhythms, mind-blowing voice and effortless moves on stage would go on to inspire artists for generations even if his troubled personal life left much to be desired. He even took his soul magic to Vietnam during the 20-year conflict - a venture that demonstrated both his patriotism and his bravery. This is the story of James Brown.
Continue: Get On Up Trailer
The stars of the upcoming James Brown biopic 'Get On Up', Viola Davis, Nelsan Ellis and Octavia Spencer, talk about the legendary musician alongside artists Ice Cube, Pharrell, Mick Jagger, Cee-Lo Green and Aloe Blacc in a short featurette ahead of the film's release on September 26th 2014.
Continue: Get On Up - Featurette
Melissa McCarthy is clearly in a rut: the title character in this film isn't very far removed from her previous roles in The Heat and Identity Thief. Yes, Tammy is another chubby slob who is on the road to some sort of epiphany, and along the way she realises that simply running a comb through her ratty hair might make her look more human. At least the film has a seriously strong supporting cast who almost make it worth a look.
Tammy (McCarthy) is sacked from her job at a fast-food outlet on the same day she discovers that her husband (Faxon) is having a fling with a neighbour (Tony Collette). In a childish rage, she runs home to her parents (Allison Janney and Dan Aykroyd) and then decides to keep running, taking her grandmother Pearl (Sarandon) along for the ride. Pearl has a dream to see Niagara Falls before she dies, but she's just about as immature as Tammy is, so they immediately start getting into trouble. Their antics include a series of incidents involving a jet-ski, flirting and more with a father and son (Gary Cole and Mark Duplass), robbing a burger joint and attending a raucous 4th of July party at the home of Pearl's wealthy cousin (Kathy Bates).
Tammy is even less worldly wise than McCarthy's previous variations on the character: she has never even attempted to grow up, so reacts to everything like a toddler. Aside from not being remotely funny, this is deeply annoying from the start. And even the characters around her don't laugh - they roll their eyes in exasperation. Then after establishing her as a relentless loser who brings misfortune on herself, the script (written by McCarthy and her real-life husband Ben Falcone, who also directs and appears as Tammy's boss) contrives to make Tammy sympathetic by portraying her as some sort of a victim. Meanwhile, she of course slowly begins to look less cartoonish simply because she changes her shirt and takes a shower along the way.
Continue reading: Tammy Review