Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon Separate After 39 Years Together

Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon are separating. He and his wife of nearly 40 years announced their split exclusively to People on Friday, although they are still legally married and remained "loving" friends. "After 39 years as a couple, we are now on separate life paths. We remain legally married, co-parents, co-workers, and business partners," they said in a joint statement to People. "This is our choice in loving friendship." 

Ackroyd was engaged to Carrie Fisher before meeting his future wife. Ackroyd met Belushi while filming with him on The Blues Brothers. In 1980, Fisher reportedly ended the engagement so she could get back together with former boyfriend, Paul Simon. "We had a great time," Ackroyd told Entertainment Tonight. "She was also in love with Paul Simon. She married him, but I hope she kept my ring."

Dixon attended George Washington University in Washington D.C. to study anthropology but later dropped out to pursue her passion for modeling and acting. After winning Miss Virginia and Miss District of Columbia World titles in the late '70s, Dixon turned to act in the '80s, beginning her career as Sonny Lumet on the television sitcom Bosom Buddies.

After meeting on the set of Doctor Detroit in 1983, Aykroyd, 69, and Dixon, 64, tied the knot that year. Together they later appeared in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Spies Like Us (1985), and Exit to Eden (1994). Dixon revealed that Ackroyd proposed right before they were about to embark on a cross-country trip. In an interview with Fran Drescher, she recalled the proposal. "Basically we were about to go on a cross-country trip, and [he] said to me that after we go on this cross-country trip alone, in a car for 72 hours, that maybe then [he] would consider marriage to you."

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Dixon said she told the actor, "I don't have to spend 72 hours in a car to know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you." They share three daughters, Danielle (best known as singer Vera Sola), 32, Belle, 28, and Stella, 24. In a 2014 interview with the Tampa Bay Times, the Saturday Night Live alum mentioned his deep connection to Dixon."You gotta find the right person — look them in the eye, have them look back, and know their soul," Aykroyd said. "She's a Southern woman who is understanding and doesn't mind dealing with the boys from time to time. I call her the White Goddess. And I'm the Green Demon."