Dan Aykroyd is a legend for a number of reasons.
The most obvious being his part in creating The Blues Brothers with John Belushi in 1978, being an original cast member of Saturday Night Live in 1971, and his star turn in Ghostbusters in 1984. Not to mention his Oscar-winning role in 1989 classic Driving Miss Daisy.
But it turns out, the actor is also a real life action hero, who has, by his own admission, “cheated death” on numerous occasions throughout his four decade-spanning career.
“I have three cat lives left, I've gone through six, so yes,” he tells British GQ.
Brace yourselves – here are five of his most hair-raising near-misses:
1) “I threw myself out of a motor boat which went over my head, I could feel the prop going and it just grazed the top of my head - had it been just two inches higher I would have died.”
2) “My electrics cut out on me on the New York freeway as I was taking an off-ramp and I ended up going cross country on my motorcycle for a little bit.”
3) “When I was working for the CBC in Canada, we were filming a comedy and I was chasing my co-star, Gilda Radner from Saturday Night Live, around the top of a warehouse, she was on the other side of a skylight and I thought ‘I'm just going to hop over the skylight’ but I fell 50 feet from the top, through the skylight yet I walked into the ambulance without a single scratch.”
4) “A gun was pointed at me when I had to go and recover some stolen property [Aykroyd is a former reserve commander for the police department in Harahan, Louisiana] and a speed freak pointed a shotgun at me, it was that classic martial arts moment when time stops and I just grabbed the rifle and took it away, by then my guys were there and we took back what was stolen. “
5) “I also once rolled a Jeep in the snow and I had just put on my seatbelt”
“There's been a couple of others,” he added. “So, you know, I have three cat lives left. I'm now very, very careful now about where I go and what I do.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he expended some advice on the secret to a long marriage (he wed his wife Donna 31 years ago).
“Well firstly meeting the right partner, number one. Also free communication. The little details mean a lot. When you end a day and come home and your partner asks you, ‘How was it?’, don't say, ‘Nothing happened’. Tell them what happened. Tell them every detail. You went to the gas station, you bought a slushy, you saw that dog by the side of the road with no home. Tell them everything.
“I also think what's important is time apart. You cannot be, no matter how much you love someone, with them all the time. You must have time on your own.
“So fortunately Donna [Dan's wife of 31 years] and myself were fortunate to have worked separately and been apart, so it's just great when you have that reunion. You come back after a separation like that and you start to renew things. We try not to be apart longer than three weeks at a time though but that time apart is healthy for a relationship, no doubt.”Reuse content