Eugene Levy has it all. The veteran actor has a celebrated career that has spanned decades, and his last big project—the wildly popular series Schitt’s Creek—recently earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards. (What, did you think being the dad in American Pie was the last thing he’d be known for?)
Throughout the show’s five-year run, Levy had the rare pleasure of working with his own two children as co-stars. Dan (who also co-created the series with his dad) and Sarah Levy undoubtedly played a part in Schitt’s Creek’s popularity. However, there’s another family member to whom the clan owes a debt of gratitude: Levy’s wife, Deborah Divine.
Although Divine did not appear on the show, Levy thanked her “for all the love, support, and sage counsel over the years” in his 2020 Emmy acceptance speech.
Find out more about Deborah Divine and her behind-the-scenes role in her husband’s success.
How Did Eugene Levy And His Family Get Famous?
Levy is a Canadian actor whose career goes way back to the 1970s in Toronto. As a member of the legendary Second City improv troupe, he also starred on Second City Television (think SNL for Canada) from 1976 to 1984. Fellow castmates included future legends like John Candy, Harold Ramis, and Martin Short.
But it was co-star Catherine O’Hara (whom he also briefly dated) who proved to be his best collaborator. Following SCTV, the two starred in countless projects together: A Mighty Wind, Best In Show, Over The Hedge, Waiting For Guffman, and For Your Consideration.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly Levy commented, “As many times as I’ve worked with Catherine and a lot of my friends, dust does settle between projects. When you’re working with people that you absolutely love working with and the experience is so great, you do want to have that experience again.”
For that reason, Levy called on O’Hara to be his co-star when he and his son Dan developed Schitt’s Creek. The pair plays Johnny and Moira Rose, a wealthy couple that loses everything and rebuilds their life in a tiny rural town living in a motel. The idea of the show was simple, as Levy reflected at a 2018 Television Critics Association event: “My curiosity went to this place of, ‘What would families [like the Kardashians] look like if [their extreme wealth] were to go away?’ Because so much of what we see is reliant on gifts that are given and parties that are thrown. If that was stripped away, would there be love there, and what would those bare-bones relationships look like? That was really what started off the conversation.”
The Levys’ answers to those questions took the form of a hilarious series that lasted for six seasons—and still left viewers wanting more. Find out why Schitt’s Creek was such a hit by watching a collection of its best scenes:
Schitt’s Creek was a family affair. Father and son, Eugene and Dan Levy co-created and starred in it, and Eugene’s second child, daughter Sarah, also appeared as regular Twyla Sands. Fred, Eugene’s brother, served as a co-executive producer.
But though it all, Eugene’s wife of 43 years, Deborah, has supported her family from the sidelines.
The Lovebirds Have Been Married Since 1977
Deborah reportedly began dating Eugene Levy in 1973. The couple married in 1977 and went on to have two children: son Dan, 37, and daughter Sarah, 34.
Divine has her own brief history in show biz. According to IMDb, she is credited as a writer on the 1990 Canadian sitcom Maniac Mansion. But it seems that holding down the family fort was her priority. In a January 2019 interview with People, Levy says his and Divine’s decision to raise their kids in Canada was the right one.
“There’s something about raising kids in a showbizzy kind of environment that’s a little scary. Toronto is just a very normal town. They could grow up with all options open to them of what they wanted to do. We didn’t want them to be locked into show business.”
Divine mostly shuns the spotlight. There are only a handful of photos of her, and she limits her social media activity to Twitter. But when she does interact with the public, it’s to praise her family:
Deborah Divine Was Supportive Of Dan Levy When He Came Out
Divine’s family makes it a point to return the love she shows for them. Not only did Eugene give her credit for his Emmy, but Dan has also been equally vocal about his mother’s support when he came out as gay. On a May 2020 episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Dan revealed, “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.”
For more insight into Divine’s relationship with her children, check out Dan’s interview with James Corden:
People might wonder how Eugene and his kids have managed to stay so grounded after years in the entertainment industry. If we had to guess, the Levy matriarch has a lot to do with it.