Who is Eugene Levy?
Eugene Levy is a Canadian actor, comedian, director, and producer. The multi-faceted personality is popularly known for playing the ‘super-cool dad’ ‘Noah Levenstein’ in all the eight parts of the American adult comedy film series ‘American Pie’. With his characteristic thick eyebrows and retro eyeglasses, Levy has portrayed ‘nerdy-comic’ characters in several films and television shows. He established himself as one of the most popular comedians in the Hollywood film industry with his performances in films like ‘Bringing Down the House’, ‘Cheaper By the Dozen 2’, ‘Father of the Bride Part II’ and the ‘American Pie’ series. Levy has been part of some major box office successes during his fifty-year long acting career; eight of his films have grossed more than US$100 million. Levy appeared alongside Ellen DeGeneres and Diane Keaton as a voice artist in the Disney/Pixar animated film ‘Finding Dory’ which grossed over US$1 billion worldwide. He is also famous as a writer in the show business with his fresh and unique style. He has written the scripts of ‘Waiting for Guffman’, ‘Best in Show’, and ‘For Your Consideration’. For his contribution to the Canadian television show ‘SCTV Network 90’, Levy won two Primetime Emmy Awards for ‘Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program’.
Eugene Levy had been a big part of the sketch comedy series ‘Second City Television’ (commonly known as ‘SCTV’) from 1976–84, playing some of the most iconic supporting characters in the show. He portrayed a news anchor named ‘Earl Camembert’ for the ‘SCTV News’ which became one of his most popular characters. He also parodied real-life artistes in that show. Some of the well-known artistes Levy impersonated were Ricardo Montalban, Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Milton Berle, John Charles Daly, Gene Shalit, Judd Hirsch, and Ernest Borgnine, among many others. He was nominated for numerous awards for his contribution to the show and won the Primetime Emmy Award twice.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Levy appeared in a series of popular films and television shows, including ‘Deadly Companion’, ‘Splash’, ‘Stay Tuned’, and ‘Armed and Dangerous’. He appeared in the 1991 American comedy film ‘Father of the Bride’ and four years later, played a more significant role in the second part of the film alongside Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. Levy stamped his authority as a comedian through his stellar performance in the film.
In 1996, he appeared in the American ‘mockumentary’ comedy film ‘Waiting for Guffman’ as ‘Dr. Allan Pearl’. He also wrote the script of the film. After a series of small roles in the films like ‘Richie Rich's Christmas Wish’, ‘The Secret Life of Girls’, and ‘Dogmatic’, Levy was signed for a role in the American teen sex movie ‘American Pie’. He was given the role of ‘Noah Levenstein’, the clueless but loving dad of the protagonist, in the first part of the film. Levy performed brilliantly and his “cool dad” image won the hearts of the audience members. He went on to reprise the role in all the seven sequels of the original film between 1999 and 2009, and was one of the significant reasons for the success of the entire series.
Levy worked again with his long-term friend Steve Martin in the 2003 American comedy film ‘Bringing Down the House’ as ‘Howie Rottman’. In the family comedy-drama film ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2’, he played the role of ‘Jimmy Murtaugh’. Levy has also done several voice roles in films like ‘Curious George’, ‘Over the Hedge’, and ‘Astro Boy’. He appeared as ‘Albert Einstein’ in the fantasy adventure film ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ in 2009.
Levy worked alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, and Diane Keaton as a voice artist in the animation film ‘Finding Dory’, the sequel of ‘Finding Nemo’. The film grossed over US$1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing animated film of 2016 and the fourth-highest grossing animated film of all time.
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Eugene Levy was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on December 17, 1946, to Jewish parents. He belonged to a working-class family where his father worked as a foreman at an automobile plant. He enrolled at the McMaster University for his higher studies and later became the vice-president of the McMaster Film Board.
He married Deborah Divine in 1977. The couple has two children together, son Daniel Joseph Levy, an actor by profession, and daughter Sarah Levy, an actress. Levy was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011 for his contribution to the Canadian entertainment industry and his various charitable works.