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Eugene Levy, CM (born December 17, 1946) is a Canadian actor, comedian, producer, director, musician and writer. He is the only actor to have appeared in all eight of the American Pie films, in his role as Noah Levenstein. He often plays nerdy, unconventional figures, with his humour often deriving from his excessive explanations of matters and the way in which he deals with sticky situations. Levy is a regular collaborator of actor-director Christopher Guest, appearing in and co-writing four of his films, commencing with Waiting for Guffman (1997).

Eugene Levy
CM
Eugene Levy 2, 2012.jpg
Levy at the 2012 Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange
Born (1946-12-17) December 17, 1946 (age 70)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Actor, comedian, producer, director, musician, writer
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Deborah Divine (m. 1977)
Children 2; Dan and Sarah Levy

Levy received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 2008.[1] He was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011.[2]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Levy was born to a Russian Jewish family [3] in Hamilton, Ontario. His mother was a housewife and his father was a foreman at an automobile plant.[4] 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.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

An alumnus of both the Second City, Toronto and the sketch comedy series Second City Television, Levy often plays unusual supporting characters with nerdish streaks. Perhaps his best-known role on SCTV is the dimwitted Earl Camembert, a newsanchor 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 (of Sandler and Young), F. Lee Bailey, Ernest Borgnine, former Ontario chief coroner Dr. Morton Schulman, Norman Mailer, Neil Sedaka and Howard McNear as Floyd the Barber.

Original Levy characterizations on SCTV are comic Bobby Bittman, scandal sheet entrepreneur Dr. Raoul 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 the inept teen dance show host Rockin’ Mel Slirrup.

Though he has been the "above the title" star in only two films, Armed and Dangerous (1986) and The Man (2005), 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 emotionally unstable 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.

Levy, along with his son Dan Levy, is co-creator of the popular CBC/PopTV sitcom, Schitt's Creek. He also stars in the show alongside his son as head of the Rose family, Johnny Rose. And also his daughter Sarah Levy who portraits Twyla Sands, the waitress at the Schitt‘s Creek diner.[5]

American Pie seriesEdit

Levy's career received a tremendous boost in 1999, when he was cast as the clueless but loving dad in the blockbuster American Pie. Reprising the role in three film sequels and starring in four straight-to-video sequels made him something of a cult hero. Levy has been quoted as saying the American Pie series was a 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. Levy again appeared as his famous character, Noah Levenstein, in the fourth theatrical film in the American Pie series, American Reunion. He is the only actor to appear in all eight American Pie films.

RecognitionEdit

Levy, along with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, was awarded the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media for the title song from A Mighty Wind. Levy appeared in the corner of a poster hanging outside the movie theatre in Springfield in the "See Homer Run" episode of The Simpsons. (The poster was advertising for Princess Rock Star and featured a girl with an electric guitar, with Levy in the corner wearing a royal crown. A liner note under him read “Eugene Levy as the King”).

In March 2006, it was announced that he would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2002, the entire cast of SCTV was given a group star, and although Levy is not mentioned on the actual star, he was still inducted as a part of the group. This makes him one of only four two-time honourees, alongside fellow SCTV alumni John Candy, Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara.

Levy is one of only a handful of people who have won at least five Canadian Comedy Awards, including two for Best Writing (Best in Show in 2001 and A Mighty Wind in 2004) and three for Best Male Performer (Best in Show, American Pie 2 in 2002, and A Mighty Wind).

On May 3, 2008, the Governor General of Canada presented Levy with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA), a lifetime achievement award considered Canada's "most prestigious artistic honour".[6] In 2010, Levy was awarded the ACTRA Award by the union representing Canada's actors.[7]

In 2011, Levy was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for his contributions as a comic actor and writer, and for his dedication to charitable causes."[8]

On May 22, 2012, Levy delivered a commencement address at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was awarded the degree Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

On June 11, 2012, Levy was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.[9]

On March 13, 2016, Levy took home the award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role" at the 4th Annual Canadian Screen Awards, for his performance as Johnny Rose in the CBC/PopTV sitcom, Schitt's Creek.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Levy married Deborah Divine in 1977 and together have two children: Dan and Sarah.

Levy is an advocate for autism awareness and treatment.[11] He was a close friend of John Candy, who died of a heart attack in 1994.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Foxy Lady Coffee Boy
1973 Cannibal Girls Clifford Sturges
1979 Running Richie Rosenberg
1980 Deadly Companion Matt
1980 Nothing Personal Marty
1981 Heavy Metal Sternn
Male Reporter
Edsel
Voice
1983 National Lampoon’s Vacation Ed the Car Salesman
1983 Going Berserk Sal DiPasquale
1984 Splash Walter Kornbluth
1986 Club Paradise Barry Steinberg
1986 Armed and Dangerous Norman Kane
1987 Bride of Boogedy Tom Lynch
1989 Speed Zone Leo Ross
1991 Father of the Bride Singer at Audition
1992 Once Upon a Crime Casino Cashier Uncredited
Also Director
1992 Stay Tuned Crowley
1994 I Love Trouble Ray, Justice of the Peace
1995 Father of the Bride Part II Mr. Habib
1996 Multiplicity Vic
1996 Waiting for Guffman Dr. Allan Pearl Also Writer
1998 Almost Heroes Guy Fontenot
1998 Holy Man Guy on Background TV Uncredited
1998 Richie Rich's Christmas Wish Professor Keanbean Direct-to-Video
1999 The Secret Life of Girls Hugh Sanford
1999 Dogmatic Larry
1999 American Pie Noah Levenstein
2000 Silver Man Leon
2000 Best in Show Gerry Fleck Also Writer
2000 The Ladies Man Bucky Kent
2001 American Pie 2 Noah Levenstein
2001 Down to Earth Keyes
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Himself
2001 Serendipity Bloomingdales Salesman
2002 Repli-Kate Jonas Fromer
Repli-Jonas
2002 Like Mike Frank Bernard
2003 Bringing Down the House Howie Rottman
2003 A Mighty Wind Mitch Cohen Also Writer
2003 Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Principal Collins
2003 American Wedding Noah Levenstein
2004 New York Minute Max Lomax
2005 The Man Andy Fiddler
2005 American Pie Presents: Band Camp Noah Levenstein Direct-to-DVD
2005 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Jimmy Murtaugh
2006 Curious George Clovis Voice
2006 Over the Hedge Lou Voice
2006 For Your Consideration Morley Orfkin Also Writer
2006 American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile Noah Levenstein Direct-to-DVD
2007 American Pie Presents: Beta House Noah Levenstein Direct-to-DVD
2009 Astro Boy Orrin Voice
2009 Gooby Mr. Nerdlinger
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Albert Einstein Bobbleheads
2009 Taking Woodstock Max Yasgur
2009 American Pie Presents: The Book of Love Noah Levenstein Direct-to-DVD
2011 Goon Dr. Glatt
2012 American Reunion Noah Levenstein
2012 Madea's Witness Protection George Needleman
2016 Finding Dory Charlie Voice
2017 Goon: Last of the Enforcers Dr. Glatt

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1975, 1979 King of Kensington Bernie / Freddie Cohen 2 episodes
1976 The Sunshine Hour Various
1976–1984 Stay Tuned Various
1976–1984 SCTV Various
1985 The Last Polka Stan Shmenge Television film; also writer
1985 George Burns Comedy Week Robert Episode: "Home for Dinner"
1985 Martin Short: Concert for the North Americas Stupid Eddie / Buddy (voice) Television special
1986 Billy Crystal: Don't Get Me Started Morty Arnold Television special
1987 The Disney Sunday Movie Tom Lynch Episode: "Bride of Boogedy"
1988 The Ray Bradbury Theater Bert Harris Episode: "Skeleton"
1992 I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood Studio Head (voice) Television special
1992 Partners 'N' Love David Grodin Television film
1992 Camp Candy Unnamed character (voice) Episode: "When It Rains... It Snows"
1993 Maniac Mansion Doc Ellis Episode: "Freddie Had a Little Lamb"
Also creator, writer, director, and executive producer
1994 The Martin Short Show Directed two episodes
1995 Harrison Bergeron President McCloskey Television film
1996 Road to Avonlea Rudy Blaine Episode: "King of the Great White Way"
1996–1997 Duckman Dr. Craig Ehrlich (voice) 2 episodes
1997–1998 Hiller and Diller Gordon Schermerhorn 13 episodes
1998 Mad About You Doctor Episode: "Nat & Arley"
1998 Hercules King Midas (voice) Episode: "Hercules and the Golden Touch"
1998 The Drew Carey Show Dr. Rider Episode: "The Engagement"
1999 The Wonderful World of Disney Larry Episode: "Dogmatic"
2000 Dilbert Plug Guard (voice) Episode: "The Return"
2002 Off Centre Dr. Barry Wasserman 2 episodes
2002–2004 Greg the Bunny Gil Bender 13 episodes
2012 I, Martin Short, Goes Home Mr. Mortimer Rickards Television special
2013–2014 Package Deal McKenzie 3 episodes
2014 Working the Engels Arthur Horowitz Episode: "Meet Irene Horowitz"
2015– Schitt's Creek Johnny Rose Also creator, writer, and executive producer

OtherEdit

Year Title Role
1993 The Wacky World of Miniature Golf with Eugene Levy (Philips CD-i game) Voice-over
1996 Creature Crunch (PC game) Brian, additional characters (voice)[12]
2015 R40 Live Rockin' Mel - Host/Emcee of early 1970's era spoofed rock show.
Video used as an introduction for the band's encore, which consisted of early career material dating to that era.

Awards and nominationsEdit

WinsEdit

NominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Eugene Levy biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Governor General Announces 50 New Appointments to the Order of Canada", June 30, 2011.
  3. ^ Rosen, Steven (November 16, 2006). "Want to spoof Purim and the Oscars? Be our Guest!". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 21 (39). Retrieved November 16, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Ditz Hits". people.com. 
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (2015-01-09). "Eugene Levy & Son On 'Schitt's Creek': "We'll Never Know Where The Town Is" – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  6. ^ <Governor General's Performing Arts Award site biography>
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.  ACTRA to give Eugene Levy Award of Excellence in Los Angeles
  8. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". June 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Canadian Screen Awards: Call 'Em The 'Candys' From Now On". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  11. ^ "Eugene Levy to be autism treatment spokesman". CTVNews.ca. CTV Television Network. June 12, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Name's Part Of The Game Computer Game 'Creature Crunch' Lands Martin Short". Spokesman.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 

External linksEdit