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Andy Dick Biography

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Birth Name: Andy Dick
Born: 12/21/1965
Birth Place: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

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 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 the hit sitcom "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 season - it provided Dick with his defining and scene-stealing role. Tragically, just days after the show was renewed, its star and emotional center, former "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) star Phil Hartman, was murdered by his wife, Brynn, 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 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) co-star David Strickland, a close friend of Dicks', killed himself by hanging after the two went on a three-day drug-and-alcohol bender. After less than two months, the final episode of "NewsRadio" aired with Jon Lovitz brought in that final season as a replacement for Hartman; 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 castmember 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. 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." 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. Meanwhile, Dick continued to work in films like the cinematic bomb "Blonde Ambition" (2007) starring Jessica Simpson and making appearances on variety shows like "The Gong Show with Dave Attell" (Comedy Central, 2008), but anything he did professionally was either overlooked or completely forgotten, thanks to the comedian running afoul of the law in some lewd and lascivious fashion.

In early 2007, Dick made news for his appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (ABC, 2003- ), on which he repeatedly touched and tried to kiss fellow guest Ivanka Trump, which led to Kimmel helping security drag Dick off the set by his legs. Later in the year, while performing at a comedy club in Columbus, OH, Dick was cited for urinating on a sidewalk, and was reportedly groping patrons inside the club, while upon his return to Los Angeles he allegedly slapped a reporter in the face outside a nightclub. Also in 2007, he had an altercation with Jon Lovitz at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, stemming from Lovitz's long-held belief that Dick reintroduced cocaine to Phil Hartman's wife whose relapse allegedly led to the shocking murder-suicide of the beloved "SNL" funnyman and his troubled wife in 1998. In July 2008, Dick was arrested yet again, this time for suspicion of drug possession and sexual battery where he allegedly held down a 17-year-old girl, ripped off her tank top and exposed her breasts. The comedian was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to wear an alcohol bracelet for a year.

In an effort to at least appear to be working on his sobriety, Dick appeared on the premiere season of Dr. Drew Pinsky's "Sober House" (VH1, 2009-2010) as one of the few voices of reason in the house, but he was back to his old self the following year when he was arrested for sexual abuse at a West Virginia bar for allegedly groping a patron and the bartender. He eventually had the charges dismissed in 2012, but was sued by both victims for an undisclosed sum. Meanwhile, numerous reports of the comedian exposing himself in public surfaced in 2010, which included a lawsuit filed by a victim who alleged Dick forced the person's face into his genitals after being asked for an autograph. In fact, Dick's lewd behavior was so bad that he was even thrown out of the AVN Awards - the annual pornography awards ceremony in Las Vegas - in 2011 for groping both a porn actress and a drag queen. Also that year, he urinated on a backdrop at the Newport Beach Film Festival before tearing it down, causing thousands of dollars in damage, and just days later was arrested for public intoxication in Temecula, CA. He also went on an anti-Semitic rant against Howard Stern on Greg Fitzsimmons Sirius XM radio show later that August. Dick appeared to settle down a bit after appearing in a 2011 episode of "Community" (NBC, 2009- ) and landing a guest spot on the sitcom "2 Broke Girls" (CBS, 2011- ). In early 2013, Dick was one of the new contestants announced for the 16th season of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ).