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Mike Myers

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STATISTICS

Birth Name: Michael Myers
Born: May 25, 1963
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality: Canadian

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BIOGRAPHY

Actor and comedian. Born Michael Myers, on May 25, 1963, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Myers grew up in the town of Scarborough, outside of Toronto, with his parents and two brothers. His father, an Encyclopedia Britannica saleman of British origin, introduced his children early to the Monty Python and James Bond movies that would inspire Myers’s weirdly brilliant comic style.

Myers began acting in commercials at the age of eight and appeared in ads for Datsun, Pepsi, Kmart, and Apple Jacks, among others. At the end of his senior year at Stephen Leacock High School in 1981, he auditioned for and was accepted into the Second City Comedy Troupe. Myers performed with the group in Toronto and Chicago. In 1989, producer Lorne Michaels hired him as an actor and writer for Saturday Night Live.

As one of the youngest actors on the famous show, Myers once again had big shoes to fill—former members of the SNL cast included Second City alumni Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi, as well as Eddie Murphy. Myers soon built up a portfolio of personae for himself—some of the most recognizable were Dieter, German host of the dance party/talk show "Sprockets;" Linda Richman, the often-“verklempt” New York Jewish host of “Coffee Talk;” and Lank Thompson, the “Handsome Actor.” His most famous alter-ego, heavy metal enthusiast Wayne Campbell, broadcast his own TV show, “Wayne’s World,” from the basement of his parents’ house in suburban Aurora, Illinois—Myers has said he based the character on his own experience growing up in Scarborough.

The tremendous popularity of “Wayne’s World” on SNL led to a movie version, which Myers co-wrote and starred in alongside Dana Carvey as Wayne Campbell’s dim sidekick, Garth Algar. Wayne’s World earned $200 million in combined box office and video sales. In 1993, Myers’s film career seemed well on its way, with two reasonably successful releases, Wayne’s World 2, and So I Married An Axe Murderer, both of which had moderate success. After six years on SNL, Myers left the show in 1995.

After a two year hiatus from filmmaking, Myers returned in 1997 with a bang in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which he also wrote. Like Wayne’s World, this outrageous spoof of British spy movies was a hit in theaters, but went on to make millions more in video sales. Myers’ hilarious dual performances as the libidinous Powers and his archenemy, Dr. Evil, were followed by a critically acclaimed “serious” turn as disco-owner Steve Rubell in 1998’s mediocre 54.

In 1999, Myers had his biggest hit yet with Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Released in June, the movie temporarily pushed Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace from the top spot at the box office, earning $54.7 million in its first weekend for the third highest opening ever. Austin Powers 2 also earned more that weekend than the first installment did in its entire run.

As part of a two-picture deal with Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, he was reportedly set to receive $20 million to write and direct Sprockets, a film version of his SNL skit, elevating him to the ranks of Hollywood's highest-paid actors. After Myers left the project in June 2000, citing the project's poor quality, Universal and Imagine both filed a lawsuit against him in an attempt to force the actor to fulfill his commitment. Myers filed a $20 million countersuit against Universal claiming defamation and invasion of privacy. He later signed a settlement with Imagine agreeing to make a replacement comedy (which cannot be an Austin Powers sequel) with Imagine and Universal before making another film.

Myers lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Robin Ruzan, whom he married in 1993. Before they wed, the couple co-wrote Wayne’s World: Extreme Close Up, about the making of his first hit film. Myers has said he based “Coffee Talk’s” Linda Richman on Ruzan’s mother.

In a landmark agreement, Myers will reportedly receive $25 million from New Line to star in a third installment of Austin Powers. A deal is expected to go through in the spring of 2001. In 2001 and 2004, Myers lent his voice to the title character, a green ogre with a Scottish burr, in the Dreamworks animated hits Shrek and Shrek 2, also featuring the voices of Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz. In 2003, the actor starred in Miramax's romantic comedy A View From the Top opposite Gwyneth Paltrow.

© 2004 A&E Television Networks

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