|Born||December 17, 1946|
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Alma mater||McMaster University|
Eugene Levy CC (born December 17, 1946) is a Canadian actor and comedian. Known for portraying flustered and unconventional figures, Levy has won multiple accolades throughout his career including four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011, and was made Companion of the Order of Canada in 2022.
Levy started his career writing and acting in the Canadian television sketch series SCTV (1976–1984), earning two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. He also appeared in the films National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Splash (1984), and Multiplicity (1996). He also became known for co-writing and appearances in a string of films with Christopher Guest, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006). He also appeared in the American Pie series of films.
From 2015 to 2020, he starred as Johnny Rose in the sitcom Schitt's Creek, a comedy series that he co-created with his son and co-star Dan Levy. In 2019 and 2020, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which he won in 2020. He also received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Levy was born to a Jewish family in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. His mother, Rebecca (Kudlatz), was a homemaker, and his father was a foreman at an automobile plant. He has a brother, Fred, and sister, Barbara. His mother was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Polish Jewish parents, later moving to Canada. His father was Sephardi Jewish, with ancestors from Spain and Bulgaria.
Levy attended Westdale Secondary School, where he was student council president. He subsequently attended McMaster University. He was vice-president of the McMaster Film Board, a student film group, where he met filmmaker Ivan Reitman.
The 1972–1973 Toronto production of the hit musical Godspell opened at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and was intended to be a run of a few dozen performances for a subscription audience. The cast was drawn entirely from local performers, instead of a touring cast. The Toronto production launched the careers of many actors, including Levy, Victor Garber, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner, Dave Thomas, and Martin Short, as well as the show's musical director, Paul Shaffer. Howard Shore played saxophone for this production. After an enthusiastic response from the audience, the scheduled run at the Royal Alexandra ended and the show moved uptown to the Bayview Playhouse in Leaside. The Bayview Playhouse production ran until August 1973, with a then-record run of 488 performances.
An alumnus of both the Second City, Toronto and the sketch comedy series Second City Television, Levy often plays unusual supporting characters with nerdy streaks. Perhaps his best-known role on SCTV is 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 Montalbán, 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 and talk show host Dr. Morton Shulman, Norman Mailer, Neil Sedaka and Howard McNear as Floyd the Barber.
Original Levy characterizations on SCTV are news reporter Earl Camembert, 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, Serendipity 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/Pop TV 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. Eugene Levy's brother Fred is also a producer on the show.
On December 13, 2022, it was announced that Levy would be host and executive producer for an Apple Original eight-episode travel series titled The Reluctant Traveler, premiering February 23, 2023, on Apple TV+.
Levy married Deborah Divine in 1977. Divine's career has been in TV production. The couple have two children whom they raised in Toronto: actors Dan and Sarah, both of whom starred alongside their father on Schitt's Creek.
Levy is an advocate for autism awareness and treatment. He was a close friend of actor John Candy. Levy is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.
In 2021, he was named honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades.
|1971||Foxy Lady||Coffee Boy|
|1973||Cannibal Girls||Clifford Sturges|
|1981||Heavy Metal||Captain Lincoln F. Sternn Male Reporter, Edsel||Voice|
|1983||National Lampoon's Vacation||Ed, a car salesman|
|Going Berserk||Sal DiPasquale|
|1986||Club Paradise||Barry Steinberg|
|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|
|1994||I Love Trouble||Ray, the Justice of the Peace|
|1995||Father of the Bride Part II||Mr. Habib|
|Waiting for Guffman||Dr. Allan Pearl||Also writer|
|1998||Almost Heroes||Guy Fontenot|
|Holy Man||Guy on Background TV||Uncredited|
|Richie Rich's Christmas Wish||Professor Keanbean||Direct-to-video|
|1999||The Secret Life of Girls||Hugh Sanford|
|American Pie||Noah Levenstein|
|Best in Show||Gerry Fleck||Also writer|
|The Ladies Man||Bucky Kent|
|2001||Down to Earth||Keyes|
|Josie and the Pussycats||Himself|
|American Pie 2||Noah Levenstein|
|2002||Repli-Kate||Jonas Fromer / Repli-Jonas|
|Like Mike||Frank Bernard|
|2003||Bringing Down the House||Howie Rottman|
|A Mighty Wind||Mitch Cohen||Also writer|
|Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd||Principal Collins|
|American Wedding||Noah Levenstein|
|2004||New York Minute||Max Lomax|
|2005||The Man||Andy Fiddler|
|American Pie Presents: Band Camp||Noah Levenstein||Direct-to-DVD|
|Cheaper by the Dozen 2||Jimmy Murtaugh|
|2006||Curious George||Clovis (voice)|
|Over the Hedge||Lou (voice)|
|For Your Consideration||Morley Orfkin||Also writer|
|American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile||Noah Levenstein||Direct-to-DVD|
|2007||American Pie Presents: Beta House|
|Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Albert Einstein Bobbleheads|
|Taking Woodstock||Max Yasgur|
|Astro Boy||Orrin (voice)|
|American Pie Presents: The Book of Love||Noah Levenstein||Direct-to-DVD|
|2012||American Reunion||Noah Levenstein|
|Madea's Witness Protection||George Needleman|
|2017||Goon: Last of the Enforcers||—|
|2020||The War with Grandpa||—|
|2021||Star-Crossed: The Film||Doctor|
|1975–1979||King of Kensington||Bernie / Freddie Cohen||2 episodes|
|1976||The Sunshine Hour||Various|
|1985||The Last Polka||Stan Shmenge||Television film; also writer|
|George Burns Comedy Week||Robert||Episode: "Home for Dinner"|
|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|
|Partners 'N' Love||David Grodin||Television film|
|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||Nightmare Ned||Mr. Nickels||Voice, episode: "Magic Bus"|
|1997–1998||Hiller and Diller||Gordon Schermerhorn||13 episodes|
|1998||Mad About You||Doctor||Episode: "Nat & Arley"|
|Hercules||King Midas||Voice, episode: "Hercules and the Golden Touch"|
|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"|
|2015–2020||Schitt's Creek||Johnny Rose||80 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer|
|2020||The Ellen DeGeneres Show||Himself / Guest Host||January 10, 2020; standing in for Ellen DeGeneres|
|2021||Saturday Night Live||Himself / Cameo||Episode: "Dan Levy/Phoebe Bridgers"|
|2023||The Reluctant Traveler||Himself||Apple TV+ travel series|
|1993||The Wacky World of
Miniature Golf with Eugene Levy
|Performer||Voice; Philips CD-i game|
|1996||Creature Crunch||Brian, additional characters||Voice; PC game|||
|2015||R40 Live||Rockin' Mel – Host||Emcee of early 1970s era spoofed rock show|
|2020||Canada: Far and Wide||Narrator||Voice; short film at Epcot|
Awards and nominations
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 received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 2008.
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.". In 2010, Levy was awarded the ACTRA Award by the union representing Canada's actors. 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" and promoted to the rank of Companion in 2022.
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.
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/Pop TV sitcom Schitt's Creek.
- ^ Seringhaus, Claire; Wise, Wyndham (May 1, 2015) [January 18, 2012]. "Eugene Levy". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
- ^ "Governor General Announces 50 New Appointments to the Order of Canada" (Press release). Ottawa: The Governor General of Canada. June 30, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011.
- ^ "Order of Canada appointees – December 2022". The Governor General of Canada. December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
- ^ 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.
- ^ a b Arnold, Steve (May 15, 2015). "Eugene Levy: 'No idea this was something I could do for a living'". cjnews.com. Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
- ^ a b Gallacher, Stevie. "Star of TV comedy Schitt's Creek pays kilted tribute to his Scottish gran as show is showered with awards". The Sunday Post – via sundaypost.com.
- ^ a b c "Ditz Hits". People.com. Vol. 60, no. 6. August 11, 2003. Archived from the original on March 9, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
- ^ Shoard, Catherine (April 26, 2012). "Eugene Levy: 'American Pie got kinda graphic'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
- ^ a b "Eugene Levy on Playing the Straight Man in 'Schitt's Creek'". Time. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
- ^ "Sarah Levy Names Her Baby After Jewish Dad Eugene Levy". July 7, 2022.
- ^ "1960s and '70s: McMaster produces funnymen Short, Levy, Thomas, Reitman and Candy". The Hamilton Spectator. September 23, 2016. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved January 3, 2019 – via thespec.com.
- ^ a b "Toronto's Legendary Production of GODSPELL". Godspell1972 (WordPress).
- ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 9, 2015). "Eugene Levy & Son On 'Schitt's Creek': "We'll Never Know Where The Town Is" – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- ^ "Apple TV+ travel series "The Reluctant Traveler," hosted by Emmy Award winner Eugene Levy, to premiere on February 24, 2023". Deadline. December 13, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
- ^ a b Telling, Gillian (January 11, 2019). "Eugene Levy Was a Strict Dad to Son and Schitt's Creek Costar Daniel: 'I Would Ground Him a Lot'". People.com. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
- ^ a b Keegan, Kayla (February 1, 2021). "Eugene Levy and His Wife Deborah Divine Were Strict Parents With Their Kids Dan and Sarah". goodhousekeeping.com. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
- ^ "Eugene Levy to be autism treatment spokesman". CTVNews.ca. CTV Television Network. June 12, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- ^ "Artists". artistsagainstracism.org. Artists Against Racism.
- ^ Creei, Toi. "Eugene Levy Named as Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades". Palisades News. Palisades News. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- ^ "'Saturday Night Live' Books John Krasinski, Dan Levy, Phoebe Bridgers, Regina King for First Shows of 2021". January 22, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- ^ "The Name's Part Of The Game Computer Game 'Creature Crunch' Lands Martin Short". Spokesman.com. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- ^ "Eugene Levy biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- ^ "Eugene Levy: 2008 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Broadcasting)". Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- ^ "ACTRA to give Eugene Levy Award of Excellence in Los Angeles". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". June 30, 2011.
- ^ "Order of Canada appointees – December 2022". Governor General of Canada. December 29, 2022. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
- ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- ^ "The Canadian Screen Awards: Call 'Em The 'Candys' From Now On". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Eugene Levy at IMDb
- Eugene Levy discography at Discogs
- Article at thecanadianencyclopedia.ca
- Eugene Levy on Twitter
- Companions of the Order of Canada
- 1946 births
- Living people
- 20th-century Canadian comedians
- 20th-century Canadian male actors
- 21st-century Canadian comedians
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- Autism activists
- Best Actor in a Comedy Series Canadian Screen Award winners
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