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Eugene Levy (1946)

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  Summary  

Eugene Levy, CM is a Canadian actor, comedian, television director, producer, musician, and writer. He is known for his work in Canadian television series, American movies, and television movies. He is the only actor to have appeared in all eight of the American Pie films, as Noah Levenstein. Levy was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011.

  Biography  

 early life
Levy was born to a Jewish family in Hamilton, Ontario. His father was a foreman in an automobile plant. He went to Westdale Secondary School, and attended McMaster University. He was vice-president of the McMaster Film Board, a student film group where he met moviemaker Ivan Reitman.

 career
He began his career as a comedian in the sketch comedy series Second City Television. An alumnus of both Second City Toronto and the sketch comedy series SCTV, Levy often plays unusual supporting characters with nerdish streaks. Perhaps his best known role on SCTV was as the dimwitted Earl Camembert, a news anchor for the "SCTV News" and a parody of real-life Canadian newsman Earl Cameron. Celebrities impersonated by Levy on SCTV include: Perry Como, Ricardo Montalban, Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Howard Cosell, Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin, Bud Abbott, Milton Berle, John Charles Daly, Gene Shalit, Jack Carter, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Tony Dow, James Caan, Lorne Greene, Rex Reed, Ralph Young , F. Lee Bailey, Ernest Borgnine, former Ontario chief coroner Dr. Morton Schulman, Norman Mailer, Neil Sedaka, and Howard McNear as “Floyd the Barber”.

Other Levy characterizations were comic Bobby Bittman, scandal sheet entrepreneur Dr. Rawl Withers, “report on business” naïf Brian Johns, 3-D horror auteur Woody Tobias Jr., cheerful Leutonian accordionist Stan Schmenge, lecherous dream interpreter Raoul Wilson, hammer-voiced sports broadcaster Lou Jaffe, diminutive union patriarch Sid Dithers ("San Francisckie! Did you drove or did you flew?"), fey current-events commentator Joel Weiss, buttoned-down panel show moderator Dougal Currie, smarmy Just for Fun emcee Stan Kanter, energetic used car salesman Al Peck, guileless security guard Gus Gustofferson, Phil the Garment King (also of Phil's Nails), and inept dance show host Rockin’ Mel Slirrup.

Though he has been the “above the title” star in only two films, 1986’s Armed and Dangerous and 2005’s The Man, he has featured prominently in many films. He is the co-writer and frequent cast member of Christopher Guest’s mockumentary features, particularly A Mighty Wind, where his sympathetic performance as brain-damaged folksinger Mitch Cohen won kudos; his accolades included a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Musical or Comedy and the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. In the 1980s and 1990s, he appeared in Splash, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Club Paradise, Stay Tuned, Multiplicity, and other comedies. Levy was the creator of Maniac Mansion, a television sitcom based on the LucasArts video game of the same name. He was also seriously considered for the role of Toby Ziegler on The West Wing, a role that went to actor Richard Schiff.

 American Pie series
Levy's career received a tremendous boost in 1999, when he was cast as the clueless but loving dad in the sleeper blockbuster American Pie. Reprising the role in two film sequels and starring in four straight-to-video sequels made him something of a cult hero. In 2002, following the success of the American Pie film series, Levy signed a contract to make an additional three American Pie movies for a combined ten thousand dollars, forgoing an originally large, six figures salary. The decision was later discussed in an interview in which Levy pointed to a similar story of Bill Murray turning down a large salary to make the Wes Anderson movie Rushmore. Levy has been quoted as saying the American Pie series was particular turning point in his career, affording him "a new perspective on his career at the time". Since working on the first two American Pie movies, Levy has worked with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House, and most recently appeared with Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

 personal life
Levy is married to TV writer Deborah Divine, and have two children. His son Dan Levy is a former host of Canada’s MTV Live and MTV's The After Show. His daughter is currently studying theater.

Levy is an advocate for autism treatment, and was a close friend of fellow Canadian Second City/SCTV alumnus John Candy, who died of a heart attack in 1994. He claims to have an obsession with food.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Eugene Levy", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.