Dan Aykroyd

Arguably the most formidable talent to emerge from the original ensemble of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Canadian Dan Aykroyd enjoyed sustained success as a writer, actor and director, decades after his crucial role establishing the groundbreaking late night comedy show. He was beloved for his classic characterizations of white toast-eating Elwood Blues in "The Blues Brothers" (1980), humbled stock trader Louis Winthorpe III in "Trading Places" (1983), and enthusiastic parapsychologist Ray Stantz in "Ghostbusters" (1984), as well as remaining a fixture in American cinema - sometimes taking heat for a misstep in judgment ("Exit to Eden," 1994); other times surprising by taking home an Academy Award nomination ("Driving Miss Daisy," 1989). While continuing to work with younger comedy superstars such as Adam Sandler and Melissa McCarthy, the tireless actor, writer, and musician also evolved into a successful businessman, known the world round for his partnership in the "House of Blues" chain of nightclubs and the founding of his own Canadian winery. But it was his eccentric run on "SNL" during its golden first years - as well as his formidable onscreen partnership with real-life best friend, John Belushi - that would remain perhaps his greatest comedic legacy.