The grandson of a member of the RCMP and son of a Deputy Minister of Transport, Ottawa-born Dan Aykroyd went to Carlton University to study psychology, criminal sociology, and political science.
He graduated with the foundation for some of his most hilarious characters including Dragnet's deadpan Joe Friday, precise impersonations of political leaders, and the cult-classic character, Elwood Blues (opposite John Belushi's Jake) from 1980's smash hit, The Blues Brothers.
Aykroyd's comedy career actually began at Carlton, writing and co-starring in a series of 15-minute sketches for a private cable company. Once bitten by the acting bug, the 20-year-old joined the Second City comedy troupe in 1972, performing in both the Chicago and Toronto clubs.
In 1975, fellow Canadian Lorne Michaels was casting for his ground breaking late night sketch comedy program, Saturday Night Live (SNL), premiering that fall on NBC. Dan Aykroyd was one of the founding members of the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" alongside Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner.
Aykroyd remained with SNL until 1979, creating such memorable sketches as The Blues Brothers with Belushi, and Two Wild and Crazy Guys with Steve Martin.
In 1980, Aykroyd and Belushi ran counter to the disco and punk age with a full-length feature version of The Blues Brothers. He also wrote and produced the movie soundtrack.
Since the release of The Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd has showcased both his comedic and dramatic talents in roles such as Dr. Ray Stantz opposite Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, as Jessica Tandy's son in Driving Miss Daisy, a single father in My Girl, and rival assassin to John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank.
A noted aviation enthusiast, Aykroyd brought a controversial piece of Canadian aeronautical history to life in 1997, as the hardnosed boss of Avro in the CBC miniseries The Arrow.
Canada's Walk of Fame Trivia: Dan Aykroyd is the first inductee to Canada's Walk of Fame to celebrate his birthday on Canada Day: July 1, 1952.