Dennis Dugan biography

Dennis Dugan

Date of Birth: September 5, 1946

Native to Illinois, Dugan graduated from Wheaton Central High School in the early '60s and began his film career as an actor. In addition to playing small roles in films like The Day of the Locust, The Howling, Norman, Is that You? and Parenthood, Dugan has enjoyed a successful television career.

Television has always held out a welcome mat for Dugan: he was the star of the short-lived series Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (1977), Empire (1984) and Shadow Chasers (1984), and was a semi-regular as an erstwhile "caped crusader" on Hill Street Blues. While working in series like Moonlighting, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, and M*A*S*H, Dugan started to work behind the camera and to direct various episodes of Hunter, L.A. Law and Moonlighting.

Dugan returned to film in the '90s, directing films like Problem Child and Brain Donors. But although these boasted big names like John Ritter and John Turturro, both had a cold reception (especially Donors), and Dugan moved back into television for the next four years. He wouldn't resurface again until he directed Happy Gilmore (1996).

The film, which starred Adam Sandler, was an enormous success both at the box office and as a video release, grossing over $75 million. Dugan went on to direct Beverly Hills Ninja, which opened at No.1 less than a year after Happy Gilmore.

He returned to television temporarily to direct episodes of Ally McBeal and Love Boat: The Next Wave, but soon found himself once more working in features alongside Sandler, this time with Big Daddy. Dennis continued to ride the comic feature film wave with The Benchwarmers, starring Rob Schneider and You Don't Mess With the Zohan (2008) and Grown Ups, working again with Sandler and Schneider.

Dugan has been married twice.

Dennis Dugan Filmography



  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
  • Happy Gilmore (1996)
  • Brain Donors (1992)
  • Problem Child (1990)
  • Parenthood (1989)
  • She's Having a Baby (1988)
  • The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
  • Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
  • Water (1985)
  • The Howling (1980)
  • The Spaceman and King Arthur (1979)
  • Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976)
  • Norman... Is That You? (1976)
  • Night Moves (1975)
  • Smile (1975)
  • The Day of the Locust (1975)
  • Night Call Nurses (1972)
  • The Hospital (1971) (uncredited)

Dennis Dugan Photo