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Denis Leary

Denis LearyBorn: 18-Aug-1957
Birthplace: Worcester, MA

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Comic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Loud, smoking comic

Denis Leary is a stand-up comedian and actor. As a kid he wanted to play pro hockey, but lousy grades kept him off the high school team. His GPA didn't keep him out of Boston's Emerson College, though, where he co-founded the school's Comedy Workshop. After graduation he spent five years teaching at Emerson, doing stand-up on the side. As a struggling comedian, Leary became friends with Bill Hicks, a brilliantly acerbic and insightful comedian on the nightclub circuit.

Leary's first large-scale success was No Cure for Cancer, a Showtime special and video. Performed while chain smoking, Leary railed against anti-smokers, vegetarians, political correctness, cancer, the National Rifle Association, John Denver, American morals, and dwindling American freedoms. It was hilarious, but a lot of it was ripped off from Hicks -- the attitude, the smoking, the wardrobe, and much of the material. Their friendship ended when Hicks saw No Cure on TV.

"I stole his act", said Hicks. "I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did." When a reporter asked Hicks why he had quit smoking, he answered: "I wanted to see if Denis Leary would." Hicks died of cancer in 1994, and Leary's comedy hasn't been as successful since. Variations of a joke have since circulated the comedy scene: "Denis Leary became famous because there is no cure for cancer." Leary appeared on MTV in the early 1990s, in a series of MTV promotional bits where he insulted famous rock-and-rollers. He has lent his name and face to commercials for Nike, Holsten Pils in England, and Quaker State motor oil, among others.

As a TV actor, Leary's been a cop in The Job and a fireman in Rescue Me. When six firefighters, including Leary's cousin, were killed in a warehouse fire in 1999, he started the Leary Firefighters' Foundation Fund, a charity that underwrites improvements in firefighters' training and equipment. After 343 New York firefighters were killed on September 11, Leary expanded the charity to include The Fund For New York's Bravest.

Leary holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Ireland. He is a cousin to Conan O'Brien. Politically, he is a libertarian.

He once went drinking with Dean Martin, who called him a pussy when Leary declined a whiskey after seven hours of boozing. "I was very proud of that", says Leary. "I couldn't believe it -- I had just gotten called a pussy by Dean Martin! That was, like, one of my lifetime goals realized."

Father: John Leary (auto mechanic; d. 1985)
Mother: Nora Leary (maid)
Wife: Ann Lembeck (screenwriter, m. 1982)
Son: Jack Leary (b. 1990)
Daughter: Devin Leary (b. 1992)

    High School: St. Peter-Marion High School, Worcester, MA (1975)
    University: Emerson College (1979)

    Endorsement of IBM 1996
    Endorsement of Nike 1992
    Endorsement of DirecTV 2009
    Ordained by the Universal Life Church Minister (1998), gift from a friend
    Irish Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Smoking

    Rescue Me Tommy Gavin (2004-)
    The Job Mike McNeil (2001-02)
    Remote Control (1987-90)

    Favorite Deadly Sins (12-Nov-1995)

    Ice Age: Collision Course (19-Jun-2016) [VOICE]
    Freaks of Nature (30-Oct-2015)
    Draft Day (11-Apr-2014)
    Ice Age: Continental Drift (27-Jun-2012) · Diego [VOICE]
    The Amazing Spider-Man (13-Jun-2012) · Capt. Stacy
    Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (1-Jul-2009) [VOICE]
    Recount (25-May-2008) · Michael Whouley
    Ice Age: The Meltdown (1-Mar-2006) · Diego [VOICE]
    The Secret Lives of Dentists (09-Sep-2002)
    Ice Age (12-Mar-2002) · Diego [VOICE]
    Dawg (21-Feb-2002) · Douglas "Dawg" Munford
    Final (8-Jun-2001) · Bill
    Lakeboat (13-Apr-2001)
    Double Whammy (20-Jan-2001) · Ray Pluto
    Sand (27-Nov-2000) · Teddy
    Company Man (3-May-2000)
    Do Not Disturb (4-Nov-1999) · Simon
    Jesus' Son (5-Sep-1999) · Wayne
    The Thomas Crown Affair (27-Jul-1999) · Michael McCann
    True Crime (19-Mar-1999)
    A Bug's Life (14-Nov-1998) [VOICE]
    Small Soldiers (10-Jul-1998) · Gil Mars
    Wide Awake (20-Mar-1998) · Mr. Beal
    Monument Ave. (20-Jan-1998) · Bobby
    Wag the Dog (25-Dec-1997) · Fad King
    Denis Leary: Lock 'N Load (15-Nov-1997) · Himself
    The MatchMaker (3-Oct-1997) · Nick
    The Real Blonde (14-Sep-1997) · Doug
    Suicide Kings (6-Sep-1997)
    Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground (17-Aug-1997)
    The Second Civil War (15-Mar-1997)
    Love Walked In (18-Jan-1997)
    Underworld (Jun-1996) · Johnny Crown
    Two If By Sea (12-Jan-1996) · Frank
    Favorite Deadly Sins (12-Nov-1995)
    The Neon Bible (23-Aug-1995)
    Operation Dumbo Drop (28-Jul-1995) · David Poole
    The Ref (9-Mar-1994) · Gus
    Gunmen (4-Feb-1994) · Armor O'Malley
    Judgment Night (15-Oct-1993)
    Demolition Man (8-Oct-1993) · Edgar Friendly
    Who's the Man? (23-Apr-1993)
    The Sandlot (7-Apr-1993)
    Loaded Weapon 1 (5-Feb-1993)
    No Cure for Cancer (1992) · Himself
    Strictly Business (8-Nov-1991)

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