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Rick Moranis Bio
Rick Moranis

At the pinnacle of Rick Moranis’ career of being a comedian and actor, the death of his wife left him a single parent. Rather than continuing with his career success, Moranis decided to raise his kids and teach them to be honorable people. After a four year break, he returned, but only in voiceover work. After his break, Moranis said he found he never really missed starring in movies too much. What he liked most was his comedic work, especially in movies where he was allowed to shape the character himself.

Moranis was born on April 18, 1953, in Toronto, Ontario with the name Frederick Allan Moranis. His first career was as a radio DJ, working at three different Toronto radio stations. He used the name “Rick Allen” for his on-air personality. Moranis parlayed this success into the Canadian television show, SCTV. It was on this show that Moranis and Dave Thomas originally created the duo of Bob and Doug McKenzie, and did so to lampoon the government requirements for “identifiable Canadian content.” The two characters were a mixture of several Canadian stereotypes.

The two comedians, Moranis and Thomas, took their characters’ success to the U.S. version of SCTV, and appeared alongside comedic great, John Candy. Later, the comedians would put their roles in the movie entitled Strange Brew. The two also had a hit song as these two characters. Take Off had the McKenzie brothers recording a song with Geddy Lee, lead singer of the band Rush. Moranis had actually gone to school with Lee.

Success followed Moranis in particular as he appeared in the extremely successful film, Ghostbusters, with Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver. Next up was a starring role in the movie adaptation of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, as Moranis starred again with Bill Murray, John Candy, and Steve Martin. He followed this with Mel Brooks’ science fiction parody Spaceballs, starring once again with John Candy, as well as with Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga. Later Moranis would state it was roles such as those that he missed doing the most, as he was allowed to use his comedic talents to rewrite the parts as he wished. Moranis considered rewriting these parts his specialty.

The commercial success of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was next for Moranis, as he starred as a father who invented a machine that accidentally shrunk his children. Marcia Strassman starred in the movie as his wife. This led to two sequels, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. Moranis played a kids’ football coach in Little Giants, which came off as a football version of The Bad News Bears. Ed O’Neill starred as Moranis’ more successful brother. The Flintstones was a live movie based on the old cartoon series, and Moranis played Barney Rubble with Rosie O’Donnell playing his giggly wife, Betty. Also starring in the movie were John Goodman and Elizabeth Perkins as the title characters.

It was after this that Moranis took a break from making movies, as he had been operating for several years as a single parent after the death of his wife from cancer in 1991. The irony couldn’t be missed that while he was making all these children’s movies, his own children were missing out on being with him. He wanted to just stay home and enjoy his children.

Moranis was lured back a few years later, but only with voiceover work that wouldn’t take him too far from his children. He lent his voice to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & The Island of Misfit Toys, with Richard Dreyfuss and Jamie Lee Curtis voicing the leading roles. The Disney blockbuster Brother Bear used his voice talents as well, along with Joaquin Phoenix and Moranis’ old Bob and Doug McKenzie partner, Dave Thomas.
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