Actor Dan Aykroyd and his wife, Donna Dixon, have announced their plans to separate after almost 40 years together.
“After 39 years as a couple, we are now on separate life paths. We remain legally married, coparents, coworkers and business partners,” the Saturday Night Live alum, 69, and Dixon, 64, told People in a joint statement on Friday, April 29. “This is our choice in loving friendship.”
The estranged pair tied the knot in 1983 after meeting earlier that year on the set of the film Doctor Detroit.
“You gotta find the right person — look them in the eye, have them look back, and know their soul,” Aykroyd told the Tampa Bay Times in May 2014 of their partnership. “She’s a Southern woman who is understanding and doesn’t mind dealing with the boys from time to time. I call her the White Goddess. And I’m the Green Demon.”
The duo — who have shared the screen in Twilight Zone: The Movie, Spies Like Us and Exit to Eden — share three daughters: Danielle (stage name Vera Sola), Belle and Stella.
The Canada native rose to fame as a writer and actor on SNL before he went on to star in the likes of Driving Miss Daisy, Trading Places, Crossroads and Grosse Pointe Blank.
“The moment I entered the acting trade I was in ‘show business,’” Aykroyd told BBC in January 2020. “I had to market and broker deals for myself. Every audition is a sale, then you have to follow it up with a contract, union obligations, tax planning, as well as — if you have a good job as an actor — investment.”
He continued at the time: “Then, when I was originating my projects, that is selling a piece of material, I had to set a value and broker a deal. So, I’ve been in show business all the way through. It’s not too hard to look at the numbers in another dimension.”
The Blues Brothers star was previously engaged to the late Carrie Fisher after they met backstage at NBC variety series, later sharing the screen in the 1980 musical comedy.
“I met Carrie at Saturday Night Live,” he recalled in a January 2017 interview for Empire magazine. “She and John Belushi became instant pals. I remember how much she made him laugh. Later, while filming Blues Brothers, Carrie and I fell in love and during the shoot, she moved in with me into a penthouse suite in the futuristic, aluminum-clad Astro Tower, which I knew to apologize for. Carrie had the most refined eye for art and design.”
He continued: “Carrie wasn’t shallow, we had a great time. She was also in love with Paul Simon. She married him, but I hope she kept my ring.”
Following their 1980 split, the Star Wars actress — who died in December 2016 of a heart attack — reconnected with Simon, 80. After their breakup, she dated Bryan Lourd, with whom she shared daughter Billie Lourd.