Amid Hollywood’s numerous contentious breakups and divorces, actor/comedian/filmmaker Dan Aykroyd and his wife actress Donna Dixon’s long-time happy marriage is a breath of fresh air.
The lovebirds have been married since 1983 and their marriage is still going strong. To find out their secret, let’s take a look back at the love story and personal lives of the Canadian comedian and American actress.
Dan Aykroyd’s Early Life
Dan Aykroyd was born in Ottawa in Ontario, Canada in 1952 to Lorraine Hélène and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Aykroyd. Aykroyd studied criminology and sociology at Carleton University in 1969 but dropped out to focus on comedy. After touring with the Second City Stage Troupe in Toronto, Akroyd moved to New York to become a cast member of Saturday Night Live in 1975. Akroyd wrote and performed on SNL for four seasons, earning an Emmy Award for his writing. As one of the original cast’s most formidable talents, Akroyd went on to star and cowrite comedies like Exit to Eden, The Blues Brothers, and Ghostbusters. He received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Driving Miss Daisy.
The Academy Award-nominated Canadian actor is also an entrepreneur, who co-founded the House of Blues chain as well as the award-winning Crystal Head Vodka.
What About Ackroyd’s Proposal to Carrie Fisher?
Before meeting his future wife, Dan Ackroyd was engaged to actress Carrie Fisher. They met while Ackroyd was filming The Blues Brothers alongside fellow SNL alum John Belushi. “Contemplating marriage, I gave Carrie a sapphire ring,” Ackroyd confessed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Fisher reportedly called the engagement off in 1980 to get back together with her former boyfriend, Paul Simon. “We had a great time,” Ackroyd said. “She was also in love with Paul Simon. She married him but I hope she kept my ring.”
Dan Ackroyd’s Wife Donna Dixon
Donna Lynn Dixon was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1957. Her father was Earl Dixon, who owned several nightclubs, most notably Hillbilly Heaven located in Lorton, Virginia. After graduation from Groveton High School, Dixon headed to George Washington University in Washington D.C. to study anthropology. Like her husband, Dixon would drop out of college to focus on her passion — which, in her case, was both modeling and acting.
In the late ’70s, Dixon won the title of Miss Virginia and Miss District of Columbia World and was a runner-up in Miss USA. She switched gears to acting in the 1980s, starting her acting career by playing Sonny Lumet in the TV sitcom Bosom Buddies.
In 1983, she was cast in the comedy movie Doctor Detroit alongside her future husband. Dan Aykroyd. Dixon and Ackroyd would go on to co-star in Twilight Zone: The Movie, Spies Like Us, and The Couch Trip.
How Did Dan and Donna Meet?
Ackroyd and Dixon met in 1982 on the set of Doctor Detroit. Sources say that the comedian was smitten with the former Miss Virginia from the start. Dixon soon broke up with her then-boyfriend Paul Stanley so she could date him.
According to Dixon, Ackroyd popped the question right before they were about to embark on a cross-country trip. She remembered the proposal during an interview with Fran Drescher. “Basically we were about to go on a cross-country trip, and [he] said to me that after we go on this cross-country trip, alone, in a car for 72 hours, that maybe then [he] would consider marriage to you.”
According to Dixon, she told the actor, “I don’t have to spend 72 hours in a car to know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
After tying the knot, the couple would share three daughters: Stella Irene, Belle Kingston, and Danielle Aykroyd.