At A Glance
December 17 1946,
• received two Emmys for SCTV
• received a Grammy and a New York Film Critic Circle award for A Mighty Wind
• received an Honourary Doctorate of Letters from Mcmaster University
When you see those eyebrows you know you’re in for a few good laughs. With films like A MIGHTY WIND, BEST IN SHOW, and the AMERICAN PIE trilogy, Eugene Levy’s unmistakable comedic talent is impossible to overlook. This well known actor, writer and director has worked with the likes of Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, and Samuel L. Jackson on screen and keeps them laughing off. He’s an award winning writer and actor having received two Emmys for SCTV, a Grammy and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for A MIGHTY WIND, an American Comedy Award and a Blockbuster Award for AMERICAN PIE, and a Golden Globe nomination for BEST IN SHOW. But before Hollywood recognized Eugene Levy, his hometown of Hamilton did.
He was born there on December 17, 1946 and attended McMaster University for four years, spending much of his time on the stage with good friend Martin Short and making films with fellow Walk of Fame Inductee, director Ivan Reitman. It was Reitman who gave Levy the lead in this first feature film CANNIBAL GIRLS in 1971 and the following year Levy won a role in the Toronto production of Godspell where he once again hit the boards with old friend Short, along with Victor Garber, Gilda Radner, Andrea Martin, and Paul Shaffer.
In 1973 he joined Toronto’s Second City Theatre, working alongside future comic luminaries John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, and Catherine O’Hara. He soon co-starred in the television off-shoot of Second City – SCTV, where he created a myriad of characters, the most memorable being newscaster Earl Camembert, funnyman Bobby Bittman, and polka meister Stan Shmenge.
Levy would continue to work with this comedy cast of friends on various film and television projects – directing Short on NBC’S THE MARTIN SHORT SHOW and Showtime’s I MARTIN SHORT GOES HOLLYWOOD; acting with Candy in GOING BERSERK, SPLASH, ARMED & DANGEROUS, THE LAST POLKA, SPEED ZONE, and directing him in ONCE UPON A CRIME; and acting with O’Hara in WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND, and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, the latter coming out in the fall of 2006 and all co-written with Christopher Guest.
His unforgettable roles in movies like MULTIPLICITY, CLUB PARADISE, FATHER OF THE BRIDE 2, SERENDIPITY, and BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE helped cement his reputation as being an essential comedic anchor, but it was his role as the father of a sexually eager teenager in AMERICAN PIE that introduced Levy’s well refined comedic skill to another generation of movie goers.
In 2004 Levy joined the advisory committee for the Comedy program at Humber College and in November of 2005 he received an honourary Doctorate of Letters from McMaster University. He still lives in Toronto with his wife and family, and between jobs you can find him on the golf course where “comedically speaking I do my best work”.