The legendary funnyman and actor was born in Ottawa, Canada, and became one of the most beloved regulars on American comedy show Saturday Night Live thanks to popular characters such as Beldar, one of the ‘Two Wild and Crazy Guys’ opposite Steve Martin, and his various political impersonations.
He also teamed up with fellow SNL star John Belushi to create the sharply-dressed Blues Brothers. The concept became much more than a comedy sketch and spawned hit albums and cult film The Blues Brothers in 1980.
Aykroyd has appeared in a number of hit movies, including Ghostbusters, My Girl and Spies Like Us. He also reprised his Elwood Blues character for a Blues Brothers sequel, opposite the late Belushi’s brother Jim, in 2000.
To celebrate his 60th birthday, WENN has compiled 10 fascinating facts about the comedy pioneer. Happy birthday Dan Aykroyd!
– He studied Criminology and Sociology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada in 1969, but never graduated. The University awarded him an honorary Doctorate degree in 1994.
– Aykroyd dropped out of college to work with acclaimed comedy improvisation troupe Second City in Toronto.
– Prior to becoming an actor, Aykroyd worked as a mail sorter for Canada’s National Postal Service.
– He proposed to his wife, Donna Dixon, on Fran Drescher’s porch. The actress played a role in bringing the couple together.
– As a pre-teen, Aykroyd was diagnosed with mild cases of Tourette’s and Asperger’s syndromes, but the symptoms were successfully treated with therapy.
– The actor was offered the role of D-Day in 1978’s college themed hit, Animal House, but turned it down.
– In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of Canada medal for his services to entertainment, scientific research, Carleton University, and Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
– The former Saturday Night Live star was born with the rare condition syndactylism, a birth defect which causes several digits to fuse together. He revealed this oddity in the 1979 film, Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video.
– Known for his role as Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers, Aykroyd also hosted a nationally syndicated radio show, titled House of Blues, in character.
– The avid music fan was among various musicians and celebrities who founded the famous House of Blues concert hall and restaurant chain in 1992.