Dan Levy | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Dan Levy

Daniel Joseph Levy, actor, writer, producer, director, TV host (born 9 August 1983 in Toronto, ON). Dan Levy is best known for his role as David Rose on the CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek, a series he created and co-starred in with his father, comedy icon Eugene Levy. Schitt’s Creek is one of the most acclaimed Canadian TV series of all time. It was named Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021. It also became the first comedy series ever to win all seven of the top awards at the Primetime Emmy Awards; Levy won four — the most by a single person in one year. He has also been honoured for promoting acceptance of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Dan Levy in 2019

Early Life

The son of Eugene Levy and Deborah Divine, Dan Levy grew up in Toronto. He was named after the Elton John song, “Daniel.” He celebrated both Christmas and Chanukkah as a child, given that his father is Jewish and his mother is Protestant. He also had a bar mitzvah. He attended North Toronto Collegiate Institute, where he led a student production of Clue, based on the board game and movie of the same name. In university, he created a clothing line with a friend called De Nous à Toi (From Us to You). It specialized in T-shirts with romantic messages written on them.

Levy started his post-secondary studies at York University. He then went to Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University), where he studied film production. In his youth, Levy also interned with ICM, a global talent agency, as well as on Canadian Idol.

Dan came out to his parents when he was 18, with their full support. Dan’s father wanted to wait for him to come out; but Dan’s mother was too excited and asked him if he was gay. Dan Levy has cited his parents’ support as a model for other parents of LGBTQ2S+ youth.

Early Career

Dan Levy’s career in front of the camera began as a co-host of MTV Canada’s main program, MTV Live, in 2006. He demonstrated his versatility in front of and behind the camera, as co-writer, co-host and co-producer of The After Show and its subsequent spinoffs. During his time with MTV Canada, Levy also hosted his own holiday special as well as a variety of special events, including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

In addition to his entertainment television work, Levy began acting in television and film. This included a four-episode story arc as Robbie on Degrassi: The Next Generation (which was later released as a TV movie). He also appeared in the films Cyberstalker (2012), Admission (2013) and Stage Fright (2014).

Schitt’s Creek

In 2013, Levy formed Not a Real Company Productions with his father, Eugene, and his uncle Fred. Dan and Eugene developed the pilot for what would become Schitt’s Creek. Levy cast his father and long-time family friend (and Eugene Levy’s frequent comedic collaborator) Catherine O’Hara in the lead roles. Levy has said that he was given considerable artistic control over the program, including his decision to end it after six seasons. He did so even though the show was hugely successful. According to Sally Catto, CBC’s general manager for programming, Schitt’s Creek was “the number one scripted Canadian comedy on prime-time television in Canada since it launched in 2015.”

Schitt’s Creek was one of the most successful Canadian comedies of all time. In its final season, it received 15 Primetime Emmy nominations and went on to win nine. It also became the first comedy series to win all seven of the top awards: best comedy series, best lead and supporting actor and actress, and best writing and directing. Levy set a record for most Emmys won by a single person at a single award show, with four. He has also won seven Canadian Screen Awards, including four for Best Comedy Series (2016, 2019, 2020, 2021).

Levy has credited Netflix and the COVID-19 pandemic with bringing Schitt’s Creek to a much larger American audience. In addition, he has said that he believes the show played an important role in changing people’s minds about members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, as well as for its realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the LGBTQ2s+ community and relationships between LGBTQ2s+ people.

Other Activities

While working on Schitt’s Creek for the CBC, Levy was also a co-host of the Great Canadian Baking Show, another CBC program. He continued in that role for two years before leaving due to scheduling conflicts. Levy later went on to create and host the cooking competition series The Big Brunch, which was set to premiere on HBO Max in fall 2022.

Levy appeared sporadically in other TV series while Schitt’s Creek was still in production. He had guest roles in the comedies Modern Family and Sex Education and the animated series Q-Force. He also appeared opposite Kristen Stewart in the Toronto-shot, queer-themed holiday film Happiest Season (2020). In 2021, he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his work as a guest host on Saturday Night Live. He was also cast in the HBO music industry drama The Idol, which features pop superstar The Weeknd in a starring role.

Awards and Distinctions

Between 2016 and 2022, Levy was nominated for more than 50 awards, including Emmy Awards, ACTRA Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Critic’s Choice Awards, among others. In 2019, Levy received the Davidson/Valentini Award from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The award is presented to “an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting acceptance for the LGBTQ community.”

In 2020, Levy set a record for the most Emmy Awards won by a single person at a single awards show. He took home four trophies for acting, writing, directing and producing Schitt’s Creek. Levy and his father also became the first father-and-son duo to win Emmy Awards in the same year. Schitt’s Creek became the first comedy series to win all seven of the top awards.


  • Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series (“Honeymoon”), Canadian Screen Awards (2016)
  • Best Comedy Series, Canadian Screen Awards (2016)
  • Best Comedy Series, Canadian Screen Awards (2019)
  • Davidson/Valentini Award, GLAAD Media Awards (2019)
  • Best Comedic Performance, MTV Movie + TV Awards (2019)
  • Best Comedy Series, Canadian Screen Awards (2020)
  • Radius Award, Canadian Screen Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement, Comedy Series (shared with Andrew Cividino), Directors Guild of Canada Awards (2020)
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, OFTA Television Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (“Happy Ending”), Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (shared with Andrew Cividino; “Happy Endings”), Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)
  • Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy, Producers Guild of America Awards (2021)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, Screen Actors Guild Awards (2021)
  • Best TV Comedy, Writers Guild of Canada Awards (2021)
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (2021)
  • Best Comedy Series, Canadian Screen Awards (2021)
  • Best Direction, Comedy, Canadian Screen Awards (2021)
  • Best Writing, Comedy, Canadian Screen Awards (2021)