Peter Aykroyd, Emmy nominated ‘SNL’ actor-writer, dead at 66

The Detroit News

New York – Peter Aykroyd, an Emmy-nominated actor and writer on “Saturday Night Live” for the 1979-80 season who later worked with older brother, Dan, on everything from a TV show about the paranormal to such films as “Dragnet” and “Coneheads,” has died at age 66.

In a brief statement Monday to The Associated Press, Dan Aykroyd cited the medical examiner in Spokane, Washington, and said that his brother “succumbed to septicemia from an internal infection precipitated by an untreated abdominal hernia.” Further details were not immediately available.

This image released by NBC shows Peter Aykroyd during a sketch on "Saturday Night Live" in New York on Feb. 9, 1980.

Peter Aykroyd’s death was first reported last weekend on “Saturday Night Live,” which also tweeted a short film by Tom Schiller he starred in for the show, the noir parody “Java Junkie.” Former “Saturday Night Live’ writer Alan Zweibel posted a tribute on Facebook, calling Aykroyd ”a very funny, really nice guy.”

He was born in Ottawa, Canada, and his career followed a similar path to his brother’s – the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto and eventually “Saturday Night Live,” which he joined months after Dan Aykroyd and fellow original member John Belushi left to focus on their movie careers. Peter Aykroyd’s year on “SNL” brought him an Emmy nomination for best writing in a variety or music program.

Much of the remaining cast and writing crew left the NBC show after the 1979-80 season and Peter Aykroyd would work off and on with his brother over the next 20 years. He appeared in “The Coneheads,” “Dragnet and ”Dr. Detroit” and co-wrote with Dan the 1991 horror comedy “Nothing But Trouble.” The Aykroyds had a shared interest in science fiction and the paranormal and Peter helped create the Canadian TV production “Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal,” which was hosted by Dan and ran from 1996-2000.