Born on July 1, 1952, in Ottawa, Ontario, to mother Loraine, and father Peter, who was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Transport. He has a brother named Peter who is a psychic researcher, sharing an interest in the paranormal with Dan.
He attended a Catholic Seminary for a while, and once he was kicked out of there, he went to Carleton University in Ottawa, where he studied Criminology and Sociology before dropping out to work with SCTV in Toronto. His studying of Criminology shouldn't come as a surprise, as he is quite fascinated with police work, and sometimes makes a habit of riding shotgun along with the Ontario Provincial Police. I guess being famous has a few perks. He was awarded an honourary Doctorate from Carleton in 1994.
After SCTV, he went to work with the Second City Troupe, where he met John Belushi, who he would be good friends with until Belushi's death from a heroin overdose in 1982. He joined the Not Ready for Prime Time Players when Lorne Michaels first started up Saturday Night Live in 1975. He worked there for 4 years, after which him and Belushi both left the cast.
During his years at SNL he came up with two skits that he would later make into movies, Beldar Conehead and his family of aliens which was made into the 1993 movie the Coneheads, and most importantly, The Blues Brothers, which as SharQ goes into explicit detail in his excellent write-up, was not just a Saturday Night Live gag or a very funny movie, but also an excellent rhythm and blues band. Their first album, Briefcase full of Blues, 1978 sold over three and a half million copies.
At some point he got engaged to Carrie Fisher. I'm not sure exactly when. She played Jake's psycho ex-fiancé in The Blues Brothers, and I'm not sure if she got the part because she was engaged to Aykroyd, or vice versa.
Some time after he broke up with Fisher, he married actress Donna Dixon. Apparently the ability to get together with incredibly hot actresses is another perk of being a famous comedian. Together they have three daughters, Danielle born in 1989, Kingston Belle born in 1993, and Stella born in 1998.
After his success with The Blues Brothers, he began writing more scripts, including the Ghostbusters I and II, Dragnet, Coneheads, and of course Blues Brothers 2000. The first Ghostbusters movie still holds the record as the highest grossing comedy to come out of Hollywood. He stuck mostly to comedy roles, because he's so damned good at them. However he did accept a role in 1989 in the movie Driving Miss Daisy, for which he received an Academy Award Nomination for best Supporting Actor.
Recently it seems that he's been keeping himself busy with smaller parts in movies. As for the future, only time will tell if he will be able to pull of a few more hilarious roles like Elwood Blues or Dr. Raymond Stantz, or if he'll quietly slip out of the spotlight. Personally I really hope it's the 1st option, because he's hilarious.
Update: I have been informed (Thanks drownzsurf!) that Mr. Aykroyd recently appeared on Art Bell's radio show, and is planning to have another paranormal themed television series, like Psi Factor, except more documentary themed.
Another update: On the recent CBC series, The Greatest Canadian, Dan was voted as the 82nd greatest Canadian of all time. Good for him. This is in addition to havng been made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998, our country's 3rd highest honour.
P.S. Found in the catbox: $ <smartalix> Dan Akroyd has webbed toes.
stolen from IMDb
Sandra Schmirler - #81 << Greatest Canadian Number #82 >> Elijah Harper - #83