Maury Chaykin biography

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Maury Chaykin

Date of Birth: July 27, 1949

Born to a Canadian mother and an American father, Maury Chaykin grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was drawn to acting in high school, then majored in theater at the University of Buffalo where he founded the acting troupe Swamp Fox. While performing with the troupe at Toronto’s 1970 Festival of Underground Theatre, Chaykin made valuable contacts and later, after unsuccessfully trying to break into theater in New York, he returned to Toronto where he began acting in experimental theater.

The nephew of famed Canadian director George Bloomfield, Chaykin’s first role on television was a 1978 guest appearance on the hit CBC sitcom King of Kensington, directed by his uncle. His uncle also directed his next few performances, including a small role in the TV movie Riel (1979) as well as Chaykin's big screen debut in Nothing Personal (1980) and a role in Double Negative (1980).

The chubby character actor began to get noticed by Canadian casting directors and soon landed a role in the TV movie Jimmy B and André (1980). With his dual Canadian/American citizenship, Chaykin was able to work in American films as well and landed small roles in Hollywood films such as Death Hunt (1981) starring Charles Bronson and War Games (1983) starring Matthew Broderick and Dabney Coleman.

When he landed the lead role in the CBC-TV movie Canada’s Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985), Chaykin became a recognizable commodity in Canada, winning a Nellie Award as Best Actor. Other notable performances include the cavalry major who commits suicide in Dances With Wolves (1990) and the reclusive musician in Whale Music (1994), for which he won a Genie award.

Chaykin has also made numerous guest appearances on Canadian shows, including Due South, Emily of New Moon, Diamonds , Adderly, Street Legal and Nikita, for which he won a Gemini Award in 1998 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series.

In 2000, the portly actor was chosen to play Nero Wolfe, the 300-pound detective in A&E’s TV movie The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2000), which led to A&E’s TV series A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Although the series lasted only one season, Chaykin continues to work in both Canadian and American projects. He makes his home in Toronto with his wife, actress Susannah Hoffman and their daughter, Rose.