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Andy Dick

Date of birth : 1965-12-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Charleston, South Carolina, US
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-06-20

Andrew Ryan "Andy" Dick is an American comedian, actor, musician and television/film producer. Dick became well known for his sensationalistic and controversial behavior related to drug and alcohol abuse. His first regular television role was on the short-lived but highly influential Ben Stiller Show. In the mid-1990s, he had a long-running stint on NBC's NewsRadio. He briefly had his own program, The Andy Dick Show on MTV, and he is also noted for his outlandish behavior from a number of Comedy Central Roasts.

Born Andrew Thomlinson on Dec. 21, 1965 in Charleston, SC, he was adopted as a newborn by Allen and Sue Dick, a Navy couple who moved frequently. Dick graduated from Joliet High School in Joliet, IL, but spent parts of his youth in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and, for a time, Yugoslavia. Although he would later become known for his outsider personality, Dick was actually voted Homecoming King in high school - perhaps thanks to his campaign slogan, "Don't vote for a jock, vote for A. Dick!" Dick dropped out of both Illinois Wesleyan University and Columbia College in Chicago and set his sights on a career in comedy, becoming a member of the famed Second City Chicago comedy troupe and beginning a low-paying career in stand-up comedy. Although the indignities were manifold - he lived in his car for a time - Dick also made important contacts, foremost among them was Ben Stiller, with whom he would work a number of times in the future.

In 1992, Dick was one of the four stars on Stiller's short-lived, but highly influential MTV show "The Ben Stiller Show." In addition to Dick and Stiller (who created the show with Judd Apatow), the program also starred Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Odenkirk. After that show was cancelled in 1993, Dick appeared in a few forgettable productions, most notably in small roles in Paulie Shore's "In the Army Now" (1994) and the Ben Stiller-directed "Reality Bites," before finding his way to "NewsRadio" in 1995 (NBC, 1995-99).

Alongside "The Ben Stiller Show," "NewsRadio" was Dick's most important role to date. As the slow-witted but loveable Matthew, he caused constant chaos on the set of the fictional radio program and was the butt of many of the other characters' jokes. Although "NewsRadio" was not a standout success during its run (it was nearly cancelled before being renewed for a fifth, final season), it provided Dick with his defining role. Tragically, just days after the show was renewed, its star and emotional center, former "Saturday Night Live" star Phil Hartman, was murdered by his wife, who then promptly killed herself. The final year of "NewsRadio" was understandably difficult for the entire cast, Dick among them. In fact, Dick was so close to Hartman, who had, in a way, taken the already troubled actor under his wing, that his death hit him harder than most, causing him to tailspin out of control.

A heavy drug user, Dick had already suffered enormous losses in the years preceding Hartman's death. His Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor Chris Farley had died of a drug overdose in 1997, and in early March of 1999, Second City founder Del Close died of complications due to emphysema. At the end of the same month, "Suddenly Susan" (NBC, 1996-2000) star, David Strickland, a close friend of Dicks', killed himself after the two went on a three-day drug-and-alcohol-fueled bender. After less than two months, the final episode of "NewsRadio" aired - less than two weeks later, Dick slammed his car into a telephone pole. He was eventually charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, felony possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing the scene of an accident. After pleading guilty, the spiraling star spent 18 months in rehab and the charges were dismissed.

In 2001, MTV created "The Andy Dick Show," but cancelled it in 2003. Giving him another shot in 2004, MTV cast Dick on "The Assistant," a brief "Apprentice" spoof. Although his already turbulent personal life was going from bad to worse, his career did not seem to suffer. Dick became a cast member of ABC's "Less Than Perfect" (2002-06). With its quirky ensemble cast, the show had eerie similarities to "NewsRadio." Like its predecessor, it was nearly cancelled before being renewed for one more season and it also watched a pivotal character (Eric Roberts, who played vain TV anchorman Will Butler) leave the show in its pen-ultimate season - albeit under less somber circumstances.

As he had before and during the run of "NewsRadio," Dick also appeared memorably in small roles in films such as "Road Trip" (2000), "Zoolander" (2001) and "Old School" (2003). A prolific voice actor, he also voiced characters for films like "Dr. Dolittle 2" (2004) and "Shark Bait" (2006), as well as numerous TV shows and video games. Most recently, Dick completed filming "Danny Roane: First Time Director" (2006), his directorial debut in which he also starred, and began to provide voice work for "Happily N'Ever After," for release in 2007. He also co-starred in the less-than-stellar comedy, "Employee of the Month" (2006) alongside Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson.

Still, as a 2004 citation for possession of a small amount of marijuana indicated, Dick had not completely conquered his substance abuse problems. He increasingly veered towards self-parody, becoming a whipping boy for late night comics, much like his "NewsRadio" character had once been an object of derision. His erratic behavior, checkered past and perhaps even his bisexuality, also made him an easy target for other roasters during the Comedy Central Roasts he participated in. Perhaps as a defense mechanism, his actions became even more bizarre. In 2006, during a roast of William Shatner, he began licking the faces of several female participants, before allegedly ranting at, groping, and publicly urinating in front of a journalist backstage.

TELEVISION:

The Ben Stiller Show (1992–1993)
The Nanny (1994)
Get Smart (1995)
NewsRadio (1995–1999)
SGC2C (1997)
Star Trek: Voyager (Message in a Bottle) (1998)
Go Fish (2001)
The Andy Dick Show (2001–2002)
Clone High (2002)
Americas Next Top Model (2002)
Less Than Perfect (2002–2006)
The Assistant (2004)
The Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson (2004)
The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (2005)
American Misfits (2007)
The Gong Show with Dave Attell (2008)
Mary Shelley's Frankenhole (2010) (voice)
Community (2011)

FILMS:

Reality Bites (1994)
In the Army Now (1994)
Double Dragon (1994)
The Cable Guy (1996)
Best Men (1997)
Bongwater (1997)
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998) (voice)
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Road Trip (2000)
Picking Up the Pieces (2000)
Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
Special Delivery (2000)
Zoolander (2001)
Scotland, Pa. (2001)
Old School (Uncredited) (2003)
The Hebrew Hammer (2003)
Inspector Gadget 2 (2003)
Hoodwinked! (2006) (voice)
The Bondage (2006)
Employee of the Month (2006)
Danny Roane: First Time Director (2007)
Blonde Ambition (2007)
Happily N'Ever After (2007) (voice)
The Comebacks (2007)
The Lindabury Story (2009)
Rock Slyde (2009)
The 1 Second Film (in production) (2009)
Daphne Aguilera: Get Into It (in production) (2009) (as Daphne Aguilera)
Funny People (2009)
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) (voice)


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