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Eugene Levy and His Wife Deborah Divine Were Strict Parents With Dan and Sarah

·3 min read

From Good Housekeeping

When Eugene Levy accepted his 2020 Emmy for his role in the hit comedy series Schitt's Creek, the first person on his list of thank you's was his "darling wife of 43 years," Deborah Divine.

"[I want to thank her] for all the love, support, and sage counsel over the years," Eugene gushed while holding his gold statuette for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. "I wouldn't be up here without you, Deb. I love you."

Despite their long marriage, not too much is actually known about Eugene and Deborah's relationship. Even though the Levys are in show biz, Deborah stays out of the spotlight for the most part, only occasionally tweeting out something funny about her famous family.

That said, we do know that Eugene and Deborah started dating back in 1973, around the same time Eugene was starting out in the Second City Toronto cast. At the time, Eugene had acted in two films, Foxy Lady and Cannibal Girls, and briefly had a fling with Schitt's Creek costar Catherine O'Hara. But once Eugene met Deborah, the sparks started flying. In 1977, the two reportedly tied the knot in front of 300 guests. Six years later, they welcomed their first child, Dan Levy, followed by their daughter, Sarah Levy, in 1986.

Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd.
Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd.

As the years went on, the two embarked on their own successful careers. Eugene continued with his acting and comedy career, taking on roles in Father of the Bride II, American Pie, and Bringing Down the House. Meanwhile, Deborah became a producer for various TV series, including Another World and Higgins Boys and Gruber, and a writer for Maniac Mansion, a 1990s Canadian-American sitcom Eugene created.

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While it may have been easier for the couple to stay in L.A. for their careers, GQ reports that they decided to move to Toronto to raise their kids and give Sarah and Dan "normal childhoods." As Eugene relayed to People, he and Deborah were strict parents who wanted to make sure Dan and Sarah learned the value of discipline and weren't pulled into a show-business environment.

"The thing was for us, if you crossed the line, there was going to be some sort of punishment," Eugene said about his kids. "It’s the way I was brought up, and it’s the way I brought up my kids.”

Photo credit: Paul Archuleta
Photo credit: Paul Archuleta

While they may have run a tight ship, Eugene and Deborah also provided unending support for their kids. When Dan was struggling to come out as gay, he recalled that it was his mom who comforted him and made things much easier.

"We were having lunch and she just asked and I said 'yes,'” Dan recalled on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron. “She was really great about it and she asked if I wanted her to tell my dad and I said 'yes.' So she did and then my dad very emotionally told me that he loved me and that it didn’t change anything. It’s very lucky. I’m very lucky to have that kind of support around me.”

Most recently, Eugene, Dan, and Sarah all starred together on Schitt's Creek, a nine-time Emmy-winning show Dan and Eugene created together that ran from January 2015 to April 7, 2020. Ask Eugene what it was like working with Sarah and Dan on the show, and he'll tell you that it was an absolute dream come true.

“I never get over the fact that I’m actually on set with my kids," Eugene confessed.

And the feeling is mutual.

"My dad has managed to have a consistent, successful career that I think is based not just in talent but in humility and professionalism," Dan told TV Insider.com. "And in this industry that says a lot about a person and their work. To have him as an example, in terms of how to navigate this business, has been invaluable."

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