About Andy Dick
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.
|Lina Sved. Began dating c. 1993; never married; mother of Dick's two youngest children; separated c. 1996, although they continued to live together in the duplex with Dick's ex-wife and his eldest son until sometime in 1997|
|Ivone Dick. Married from 1986-1989; mother of Dick's oldest son; continued living with Dick for many years after they divorced|
|Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington , Illinois|
|Columbia College, Chicago , Illinois|
|Second City, Chicago , Illinois|
|Appeared in local Chicago commercials and stage productions|
|Moved to Chicago while attending high school|
|Studied with the Second City comedy troupe|
|TV acting debut, a guest appearance on the sitcom "Anything But Love" (ABC)|
|Moved to Los Angeles|
|TV-movie debut, "Earth Angel"|
|TV series debut as a regular, "The Ben Stiller Show" (FOX)|
|Cast as a regular on the NBC ensemble sitcom "News Radio"|
|Starred in the short-lived revival, "Get Smart" (FOX)|
|Formed Dickly Entertainment|
|Voiced the evil lion Nuka in the direct-to-video sequel "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride"|
|Co-starred in the live-action film "Inspector Gadget"|
|Provided character voice for the NBC animated series "Sammy"|
|Starred as the gay best friend of an artist in "Advice From a Caterpillar"|
|Appeared as one of a trio of hippies in "Scotland, Pa."; screened at Sundance|
|Had regular role on the NBC summer sitcom "Go Fish"|
|Starred in own MTV series "The Andy Dick Show"|
|Cast as Owen in the comedy series "Less Than Perfect"|
|Plays Santa's evil son in "The Hebrew Hammer"|
|Starred in a new MTV spoof reality show dubbed, "The Assistant"|
|Wrote and directed his first feature film, "Danny Roane: First Time Director"|