Eugene Levy

Eugene Levy, CM (born December 17, 1946) is a Canadian actor, comedian, producer, director, 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 (1996).

Levy received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 2008.[4] He was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011.[5]

Eugene Levy

Eugene Levy 2, 2012
Levy at the 2012 Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange
BornDecember 17, 1946 (age 72)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.[2]
Canada[3]
NationalityCanadian
OccupationActor, comedian, producer, director, writer
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)
Deborah Divine (m. 1977)
ChildrenDan Levy
Sarah Levy

Early life

Levy was born to a Jewish family[6] in Hamilton, Ontario. His mother was a homemaker and his father was a foreman at an automobile plant.[7] 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.[8]

Career

Eugene Levy 2011
Eugene Levy 2011

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, Judd Hirsch, 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 CBC/PopTV sitcom, Schitt's Creek. He also stars in the show alongside his son as head of the Rose family, Johnny Rose. His daughter, Sarah Levy, portrays Twyla Sands, the waitress at the Schitt‘s Creek diner.[9]

American Pie series

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

Recognition

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).

In 2008, the Governor General of Canada presented Levy with the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA), a lifetime achievement award considered "for their outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada.".[10] In 2010, Levy was awarded the ACTRA Award by the union representing Canada's actors.[11]

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."[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

Personal life

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

Levy is an advocate for autism awareness and treatment.[15] He was a close friend of John Candy, who died of a heart attack in 1994.

Levy is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.[16]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Foxy Lady Coffee Boy
1973 Cannibal Girls Clifford Sturges
1979 Running Richie Rosenberg
1980 Nothing Personal Marty
1980 Deadly Companion Matt
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
2000 American BT S.Sardarian Brian O'Conner
2001 Down to Earth Keyes
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Himself
2001 American Pie 2 Noah Levenstein
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 Gooby Mr. Nerdlinger
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Albert Einstein Bobbleheads
2009 Taking Woodstock Max Yasgur
2009 Astro Boy Orrin Voice
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

Television

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

Other

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)[17]
2015 R40 Live Rockin' Mel - Host/Emcee of early 1970s 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 nominations

Wins

Nominations

References

  1. ^ Eugene Levy's House in Los Angeles, CA (Google Maps) - Virtual Globetrotting Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Eugene Levy's House in Los Angeles, CA (Google Maps) - Virtual Globetrotting Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Eugene Levy's House in Los Angeles, CA (Google Maps) - Virtual Globetrotting Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Eugene Levy biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Governor General Announces 50 New Appointments to the Order of Canada", June 30, 2011.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Ditz Hits". people.com.
  8. ^ "1960s and '70s: McMaster produces funnymen Short, Levy, Thomas, Reitman and Candy". The Hamilton Spectator. 2016-09-23. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Eugene Levy: 2008 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Broadcasting)". Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ACTRA to give Eugene Levy Award of Excellence in Los Angeles
  12. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". June 30, 2011.
  13. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  14. ^ "The Canadian Screen Awards: Call 'Em The 'Candys' From Now On". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  15. ^ "Eugene Levy to be autism treatment spokesman". CTVNews.ca. CTV Television Network. June 12, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "Artists - Artists Against Racism". artistsagainstracism.org.
  17. ^ "The Name's Part Of The Game Computer Game 'Creature Crunch' Lands Martin Short". Spokesman.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07.

External links

A Mighty Wind

A Mighty Wind is a 2003 American mockumentary comedy film about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. The film was co-written (with Eugene Levy), directed and composed by Christopher Guest. The film is widely acknowledged to reference the 2003 tribute concert to folk music producer Harold Leventhal that reunited several of the folk groups that Leventhal had managed. More broadly, the film is a parody of the American folk music revival of the early 1960s and its personalities.

Guest co-stars and reunites many of his company of actors from This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, and Best in Show for this film. They include Eugene Levy (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch and Parker Posey.

Armed and Dangerous (1986 film)

Armed and Dangerous is a 1986 American comedy film starring John Candy, Eugene Levy, Robert Loggia and Meg Ryan. It was directed by Mark L. Lester and filmed on location in and around Los Angeles, California.

Best in Show (film)

Best in Show is a 2000 American mockumentary comedy film co-written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy and directed by Guest. The film follows five entrants in a prestigious dog show, and focuses on the slightly surreal interactions among the various owners and handlers, as they travel to the show and then compete during the show. There are also short depictions of the characters six months after the show is over. Among the comedic aspects of the film are similarities between the personalities and characteristics of the owners and those of their dogs. Much of the dialogue was improvised. Many of the comic actors were also involved in Guest's other films, including Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Mascots. The film's score was composed by C. J. Vanston.

Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series

The Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor in Comedy Series is an annual Canadian television award, presented by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television to the best leading performance by an actor in a Canadian television comedy series.

The award was first presented in 1986 as part of the Gemini Awards. However, as Canadian television comedy was dominated by sketch comedy rather than narrative sitcoms in the late 1980s and 1990s, the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Comedy Series were discontinued after 1987, with only a single gender-neutral award presented for Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Series thereafter. With the revival of scripted narrative comedy series in the 2000s, separate awards for actors and actresses were reinstated in 2011, and have been presented since then as part of the Canadian Screen Awards.

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a 2005 American family comedy film produced by 20th Century Fox. It is the sequel to the family comedy film Cheaper by the Dozen (2003). Shawn Levy, the director of the first film, did not return as director for this one, which was instead directed by Adam Shankman (The Pacifier). Levy was a producer of it and made an appearance as a hospital intern in it. Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, Piper Perabo, Alyson Stoner, and Tom Welling reprise their roles as members of the twelve-child Baker family. Eugene Levy co-stars as the patriarch of a rival family of eight children. Carmen Electra portrays his wife.

Dan Levy (TV personality)

Daniel Joseph Levy (born August 9, 1983) is a Canadian actor, writer, producer, and television personality. He is the son of comedian and actor Eugene Levy and screenwriter Deborah Divine Levy. Dan Levy hosted an aftershow for The Hills that aired on MTV Canada for several seasons.He currently stars in Schitt's Creek, a scripted comedy series that he co-created with his father. For his work on the series, he has won several Canadian Screen Awards, among other accolades.

Eugene Levy (politician)

Eugene "Gene" Levy (December 1, 1926 – July 12, 1990) was a member of the New York State Senate for the 38th District covering all of Rockland County and parts of Orange County, New York. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1984, where he remained for three terms.

During his undefeated political career, Senator Levy was elected into office 13 times. Before he was elected to the New York State Senate, Levy was twice elected as councilman of the town of Ramapo, New York. He held this position from 1964 to 1968. He then served in the New York State Assembly from 1969 until 1984.

Levy died of leukemia in July 1990. At the time of his death, he had been elected to the New York State Senate three times, and he was getting ready to run for a fourth Senate term.

For Your Consideration (film)

For Your Consideration is a 2006 comedy film directed by Christopher Guest. It was co-written by Guest and Eugene Levy, and both also star in the film. The film's title is a phrase used in trade advertisements to promote films for honors such as the Academy Awards. The plot revolves around a group of three actors (played by Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, and Harry Shearer) who learn that their performances in the fictional film they have not even completed yet, Home for Purim, a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are supposedly generating a great deal of award-season buzz.

Many of the cast return from Guest's other mockumentary films This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind, including Levy, O'Hara, Posey, Shearer, Michael McKean, Fred Willard, Larry Miller, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins and Jim Piddock.

Ricky Gervais, the co-creator of the British television series The Office, also appears, while John Krasinski, Richard Kind, Scott Adsit, and Sandra Oh make brief cameos. Though the dialogue is largely improvised by the actors as in Guest's earlier films, the format is a departure from the mockumentary style.

The film received its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2006. It was produced by Warner Independent Pictures in association with Castle Rock Entertainment and Shangri-La Entertainment.

Going Berserk

Going Berserk is a 1983 comedy film starring John Candy, Joe Flaherty, and Eugene Levy and directed by David Steinberg.

Like Mike

Like Mike is a 2002 American comedy film directed by John Schultz and written by Michael Elliot and Jordan Moffet. Starring Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Brenda Song, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover and Eugene Levy, the film follows an orphan who gets basketball talents after finding a pair of Michael Jordan's shoes. It was produced by NBA Productions and features cameo appearances by NBA players. The film was released on July 3, 2002, by 20th Century Fox.

Maniac Mansion (TV series)

Maniac Mansion was a Canadian-American sitcom created by Eugene Levy, which aired concurrently on YTV in Canada and The Family Channel in the United States for three seasons from September 14, 1990, to April 4, 1993.

The series is very loosely based on the popular 1987 LucasArts video game of the same name. While Lucasfilm served as co-producers on the series, the show thematically shares little in common with its source material (see § Differences from the game).

New York Minute (film)

New York Minute is a 2004 American teen comedy film starring Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, and Eugene Levy. It was directed by Dennie Gordon and released on May 7, 2004. In the film Mary-Kate and Ashley play twins with opposing personalities who have a series of adventures around New York City. New York Minute reunited Mary-Kate and Ashley with their Full House co-star, Bob Saget. It was the Olsen twins' first theatrical film release since 1995's It Takes Two. It was also the last film featuring both Olsens, and the last film released by Dualstar Entertainment before it went into dormancy.

Once Upon a Crime

Once Upon a Crime is a 1992 ensemble black comedy mystery film starring Richard Lewis, John Candy, James Belushi, Cybill Shepherd, Sean Young and Ornella Muti. The film was directed by Eugene Levy. It is the remake of the Mario Camerini's comedy Crimen.

Repli-Kate

Repli-Kate is a 2002 sex comedy film from National Lampoon, directed by Frank Longo and starring Ali Landry, James Roday, Desmond Askew and Eugene Levy.

Schitt's Creek

Schitt's Creek (stylized as Schitt$ Creek) is a Canadian television sitcom created by Eugene Levy and his son Daniel Levy that premiered on CBC Television on January 13, 2015. The series is produced by Not a Real Company Productions. On March 6, 2018, the show was renewed for a 14-episode fifth season, which began airing on January 8, 2019.The series has won various accolades, including an ACTRA Award and 11 Canadian Screen Awards. It is the first Canadian comedy series to be nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series.

Stay Tuned (film)

Stay Tuned is a 1992 American dark fantasy adventure satire comedy film directed by Peter Hyams, written by Jim Jennewain and Tom S. Parker, and based on a story by Jennewain, Parker, and Richard Siegel, and starring John Ritter, Pam Dawber, Jeffrey Jones, and Eugene Levy.

Tim Burton was originally chosen to be the director on account of his art and style, but left to direct Batman Returns.

Waiting for Guffman

Waiting for Guffman is a 1996 American mockumentary comedy film written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy, and directed by Guest. The film's ensemble cast (who improvised their dialogue based on Guest and Levy's story) includes Guest, Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, and Parker Posey.

The film's title is a reference to Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot. As in the other mockumentary films created by Guest, the majority of the dialogue is improvised. Because the film is about the production of a stage musical, it contains several original musical numbers written by Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. The film's score was composed by William Ross.

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