Director, ActorDate of birth
5th September 1946
Place of birth
Wheaton, Illinois, USA
Year of debut
First feature film
Dennis Dugan began acting in high school and went on to study at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. After graduating, he moved to New York where he starred in numerous off-Broadway plays. He re-located to LA where he mainly got work acting on TV shows. From the late eighties, he focused his career on directing movies and television. He has since directed movies including Problem Child and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Dennis Dugan has said "audiences that go to my movies don't want a message. They don't want my soul exposed or my life view. They just want to laugh".
He often collaborates with Adam Sandler, having directed Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. He enjoys working with Adam because he immerses himself in the entire process. Dennis noted "he’s not just an actor who shows up and is funny. He produces, writes, is in the editing room and helps with the soundtrack".
He frequently makes cameo appearances in his own movies. For example, he was a reluctant trick-or-treat giver in Big Daddy.
His TV appearances include Private Eye in the seventies and Hill Street Blues in the early eighties.
He married actress Joyce Van Patten in 1973 and they divorced in 1987.