Oscar Actors: Aykroyd, Dan

Born Daniel Edward Aykroyd on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Canada.

A dropout from Ottawa's Carleton University, Aykward worked as a train brakeman and surveyor before beginning a career as a comedian.

He was an alumnus of the Toronto branch of the Second City comedy theater and Canadian TV by the time he arrived in New York in 1975. Within months, he embarked on the road to success as he started a fortuitous five-season stint as a regular member of NBC's comedy series Saturday Night Live. He teamed up with longtime buddy John Belushi to entertain TV audiences with some of the show's most hilarious moments. They also appeared together in three films, most memorably in The Blues Brothers (1980). After Belushi's tragic death in 1982, Aykroyd continued in films, often collaborating on his own scripts. He scored a huge boxoffice hit with Ghostbusters (1984), in which he teamed up with another Saturday Night Live veteran, Bill Murray.

Aykroyd showed an unexpected flair for drama as Jessica Tandy's son in “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), a performance that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

Thought his debut as a director with “Nothing But Trouble” (1991) was ill fated, he continued to be a popular and inventive comic performer. In 1993, he returned to his Saturday Night Live in “Coneheads,” based on a recurring sketch from the series.

Married actress Donna Dixon. He is coowner of the popular Hard Rock Cafe.

Oscar Alert

In 1989, Aykroyd competed for the Supporting Actor Oscar with Danny Aiello in “Do the Right Thing,” Marlon Brando in “A Dry White Season,” Martin Landau in “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and Denzel Washington (who won) in “Glory.”