Denis Colin Leary (born August 18, 1957) is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated American actor, comedian, writer and director. He is known for his often angry comedic style, and his chain smoking. As of 2009, Leary is the star and co-creator of the television show Rescue Me.
Leary was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants. His mother, Nora, was a maid. His father, John Leary (deceased), was an auto mechanic. Since both of his parents are from Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Leary holds both Irish and American citizenship. He graduated from Saint Peter-Marian High School, in Worcester. Through marriage, Leary is a distant cousin of talk show host Conan O'Brien and has jokingly said on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that, "All Irish people are related." His name is often misspelled as "Dennis" instead of the correct "Denis."
In his 2008 book Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, Leary made a statement about autism that has angered many people.
“ There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks... to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't (care) what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you — your kid is not autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both. ”
In response to the controversy, Leary stated that the quote was taken out of context and that in that paragraph he had been talking about the trend of overdiagnosis of autism, which he attributed to American parents seeking an excuse for behavioral problems and underperformance. Later, he apologized to parents with autistic children whom he had offended.((read more)...)
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