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Rick Moranis

Moranis was born in Toronto in 1953. While still in high school he wrote comedy material for CBS radio and television. After working as a part-time radio engineer and DJ and moonlighting as a stand-up comic in local clubs, he joined the cast of the Toronto branch of Second City, the improvisational comedy collective originally founded in Chicago in the late 1950s by the likes of Del Close, Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

In 1980, friend Dave Thomas asked Moranis to replace Harold Ramis, who had just left the cast of the popular TV series SCTV. Shortly afterwards the show was picked up by the CBC network, whose executives surprised everyone in the cast when they insisted the show include two minutes of specifically Canadian content. Moranis and Thomas retaliated against this specious nationalism by creating Bob and Doug McKenzie, and giving them their own regular segment, Great White North. The ultimate Canadian stereotypes, Bob and Doug sat in front of a map of Canada, cooked back-bacon, swigged beer, and introduced American viewers to the concepts of Take off, Beauty, eh? and Hoser. Decked out in tuques and parkas, the two actors improvised their segments, which were timed out to exactly two minutes. Contrary to their expectations, the skits became the most popular on the program.

For his efforts, Moranis won an Emmy award for Outstanding Writing in 1982. Moranis and Thomas later cut a platinum-selling Bob and Doug LP, Great White North, which was nominated for a Grammy; and MGM produced a movie starring the McKenzie brothers, the Hamlet-skewering comedy adventure Strange Brew (1983), which Moranis co-wrote and codirected.

His TV credits include 90 Minutes Live (CBC, 1976-8), Steve Martin's Twilight Theater (1982), and the telefilms The Last Polka and Hockey Night (both 1984).

In feature films, he is best known for his role as absent-minded physics whiz Wayne Szalinski in Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and its sequels Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997); as well as accountant and unwitting ghost host Louis Tully in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989). Among his other feature credits are Streets of Fire (1984), Brewster's Millions (1985), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987), Parenthood (1989), My Blue Heaven (1990), L.A. Story (1991), Splitting Heirs (1993), The Flintstones and Little Giants (both 1994), and Big Bully (1996).

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Rick Moranis Facts

Birth Name Richard Allen Moranis
BirthdayApril 18, 1954 (69)
BirthplaceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Height5' 4" (1m63)  How tall is Rick Moranis compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Flintstones
Ghostbusters II
Little Giants
Little Shop of Horrors
Streets Of Fire
My Blue Heaven
Brother Bear
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