Dan Akroyd


Photo of Dan Akroyd
Dan Aykroyd is an Academy Award-nominated Ottawa comedian, actor, screenwriter and musician.

He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of the Blues Brothers and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.

Aykroyd grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. His father, Peter Hugh Samuel Cuthbert Aykroyd, was a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His mother, Lorraine Gougeon, is Franco-Ontarian.

Aykroyd was born with syndactyly (webbed toes) and heterochromia (the condition of having two differently-colored eyes). In an audio interview with Terry Gross, he described himself as having mild Tourette syndrome that was successfully treated with therapy when he was a preteen, as well as mild Asperger syndrome. The latter can manifest itself in a fascination with narrowly-defined interests, such as police work, and Aykroyd carries a police badge at all times. (It is unclear if Aykroyd received these diagnoses from a medical source or whether they were self-made. The interviewer indicated that she couldn't tell if Aykroyd was kidding.)

Dan Aykroyd attended Roman Catholic high schools at Ottawa, St Pius X and St. Patrick's, where he was briefly expelled from the latter. Aykroyd went on to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University but dropped out before completing.

He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs. Aykroyd went on to gain experience in The Second City comedy troupe and in the National Lampoon stage shows.

For a time, Aykroyd was engaged to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. She hosted the Saturday Night Live episode in which Aykroyd and Belushi gave their first polished performance as the Blues Brothers. Fisher also had a cameo in The Blues Brothers as the mysterious woman trying to kill "Joliet" Jake Blues (Belushi).

Akroyd is a Canadian of both Anglo- and Franco- decent.