Andy Dick's life is a whirlwind of creativity, controversy, and chaos. Known for his unique brand of humor and unpredictable behavior, this actor and comedian forged a unique path in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, his accomplishments now stay in the shadows because of his turbulent personal life and his numerous run-ins with the law.
1. His Parents Adopted Him
To begin with, Andy Dick almost had a very different life. Born Andrew Thomlinson, Allen and Sue Dick adopted him at birth. Although he never knew his biological parents, he was a happy kid. Growing up in Chicago, Dick spent all his time taking improv comedy classes, which soon led to a career in TV.
Not surprisingly, a show business life came with a very messy relationship.
2. He Got Married
While Dick was pursuing gigs here and there, he found himself in an unexpected commitment. In 1986, Dick tied the knot with Ivone Kowalczyk. The sudden marriage followed a sudden pregnancy, and they welcomed a son into the world in 1988. However, the fast-paced relationship got out of control—and it was about to crash very hard.
3. His Relationship Imploded
Dick and Kowalczyk had a good run, but their marriage lasted until 1990. Their relationship—like many aspects of Dick's life—had lots of ups and downs. The couple's separation marked the beginning of a tumultuous personal journey for Andy Dick, coupled with a very bizarre living arrangement.
4. He Still Lived With His Ex-Wife
Despite their divorce in 1990, Dick and his ex-wife chose to live together to raise their son together. No, this wouldn't work for everyone—and it didn't work for them. Although the arrangement began on the right foot, it turned into an uncomfortable space after both Dick and his ex-wife entered into new, long-term relationships.
It was finally time for Dick to move on.
5. He Was A Regular On A Show
Dick began his television comedy with The Ben Stiller Show. For a year, Dick worked with an amazing cast and got an opportunity to showcase his talents on screen. His remarkable comedic skills caught the eye of someone else, someone with a hit TV show. This was David Letterman—who decided to give Dick a chance.
6. He Made A Memorable Appearance
In 1993, Dick starred on Letterman’s show, which gave his career a boost. Not only was he supper funny, he then started messing around with Letterman. They developed a funny rapport, making the audience crack up and garnering Dick a lot of applause. But though he traversed the stairs to stardom, he felt more excited about his personal life.
7. He Became A Father Again
Whether Sved and Dick were married or not, they sure were ready to undertake a big commitment—well, two actually. Three years apart, Sved gave birth to a boy named Jacob and a girl named Meg. As of 1997, they were a family of four and Dick was officially a family man. Yet, there were times he still acted like a hormone-fueled teenage boy.
8. He Went To A Christmas Party
Meanwhile, Dick was working on a sitcom named NewsRadio, and he often got together with his co-stars at special events. In 1997, he went to his co-star Phil Hartman’s house for a Christmas Party. There, he got pretty intoxicated while snorting an illicit substance up his nose. He wasn’t a good influence on other people, especially Hartman’s wife, who had been sober for 10 years.
That night, he convinced her to join him—a mistake that had dire consequences.
9. He Pulled Someone Down To A Dangerous Place
Dick and Brynn Hartman went all in that night, and Brynn never stopped after that. In a tragic turn of events, she relapsed. Not only she began using again, but she developed some seriously erratic behavior. On one occasion a couple of months later, Brynn and Phil Hartman got into a heated argument that changed everything—even Dick’s life.
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10. He Was Involved In A Tragedy
In May 1998, following a heated argument, Brynn and Phil went home. Brynn was alarmingly intoxicated, which made her take both her and her husband’s life. This news shocked the whole entertainment industry and surely scarred Dick for the rest of his life. Although he may have already been blaming himself, some other people really pushed his buttons.
11. Someone Blamed Him
After Hartman’s demise, one of his close friends—Jon Lovitz—came on the show as his replacement. Even though he agreed to come to the show, Lovitz wasn’t happy to be working with Dick. He believed Dick was responsible for his friend’s demise, and he was vocal about it.
The two were not getting along, yet one day, it got even worse.
12. He Was Furious
In the midst of Dick and Lovitz's heated argument, Lovitz crossed the line. When Dick said, “Well, you shouldn't be here,” to Lovitz, he responded, “Well, I wouldn't be here if you hadn't given Brynn coke in the first place”. Dick was furious and Lovitz knew that he took it too far. He apologized immediately—thinking that would end the feud.
Unfortunately, the feud wasn’t over—it was just on hold.
13. He Didn’t Forget It
Some time later, Dick made a visit to a restaurant where Jon Lovitz is a part-owner, hoping to get back at the actor. Dick approached Lovitz's table, grabbed the glasses on Lovitz’s table, and drank them all. In a sinister fashion, he then made the most chilling statement imaginable.
He said, "I put the Phil Hartman hex on you, you're the next one to die". This comment deeply disturbed Lovitz, but he knew Dick too well to retaliate.
14. He Averted A Crisis
Lovitz was furious, but he knew that Dick was completely sloshed. No matter how much he hated that remark and wanted to respond, Lovitz refrained from physical confrontation. As he put it, “I wanted to smash him, but if I hit him he would have gone flying into the table behind him”.
After Lovitz removed Dick from his restaurant, the night ended in a silent fashion—but one more encounter awaited them.
15. He Booked A Show On Purpose
After the incident at the restaurant, Lovitz had no further encounters with Dick until a couple of months later. Reportedly, while performing his weekly show at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, Dick happened to get on stage right after Lovitz’s performance. Nobody knew what his intentions were, but it was clear that he had a dark ulterior motive that night.
16. He Picked A Fight
After Jon Lovitz's performance, Dick tracked him down in the lobby. Lovitz waited for an apology—instead, Dick kept picking on him. Lovitz finally snapped. He grabbed Dick by the shirt and pushed him against the wall. Dick would get hurt pretty badly if the doorman hadn’t intervened.
Fortunately, he got out of it one piece—but he didn’t learn his lesson.
17. He Had A Crazy Night In Vegas
Dick was still a troublemaker. In 1999, he and actor David Strickland went to Las Vegas for a three-day partying trip, indulging in everything they shouldn't be. Dick and Strickland drank and did other things until they lost contact with reality. That night, they lived like there was no tomorrow. Sadly, it turned out to be true.
18. His Friend Had A Crazier Night
After Dick and Strickland separated, a horrifying scandal began to unfold. While Dick went straight to sleep, Strickland kept the party alive in his room with a lady. Later that night, Strickland's life took a devastating turn when he was alone. While probably still intoxicated, Strickland tragically took his own life in the motel room.
Guess whose door the auhtorities knocked on the next day?
19. They Questioned Him
After the tragedy, Dick found himself involved in a tough situation when officers questioned him. He not only faced questioning but also had the heartbreaking responsibility of identifying Strickland's lifeless body. Dick had already gone through the guilt of Harman and his wife, but the second time around? He couldn't handle it.
He fell into a disastrous cycle of partying.
20. He Got Into Trouble
Just a few months later, Andy Dick drove his vehicle into a utility pole while driving intoxicated from god-knows-what. It was his first time facing charges, yet the charges were pretty significant: possession of certain substances, driving while intoxicated, and a “hit-and-run”.
He was in a circumstance where he couldn't joke his way out of.
21. He Plead Guilty
Dick had to put on his serious face to stare down his grievous mistakes. He plead guilty to the charges and agreed to participate in an 18-month recovery program. Once he successfully completed the program, they dropped the charges against him. Enjoying his freedom, Dick came to his senses and decided to focus on his career. It was a turning point.
22. He Had A Fresh Start
Keeping himself busy with work, Dick came up with the idea to create his own show in 2001. Named after himself, The Andy Dick Show aired on MTV—it showcased Dick’s unique style with offbeat sketches. The show had a successful run for two years before it came to an end in 2002. Sadly, this end marked the beginning of Dick’s long list of misdeeds.
23. He Spiraled Back
When the show ended, Dick fell back on the wagon of partying and getting out of control. In December 2004, he headlined the news because of an incident in which he flashed at a local McDonald’s. The incident involved him exposing his buttocks, leading to his arrest. He already had a controversial reputation, so why not turn it up a notch?
24. He Caused An Uproar
In 2005, during a performance at Yuk Yuk's comedy club in Edmonton, Alberta, Dick shocked the audience by dropping his pants. This controversial act resulted in an uproar, leading to his removal from the stage. Furthermore, the comedy club canceled his performance for the other day, punishing his misconduct.
Even though he was almost canceled, Comedy Central invited him for a roast event afterward. So, he got a chance for redemption. He didn’t take it.
25. He Let Everyone Down
When he appeared at the Comedy Central roast event, his inappropriate behavior went to the next level. Disturbing multiple celebrities, Dick inappropriately touched Pamela Anderson. But he didn’t do boundary-pushing comedy only on her. He also messed around with her husband Tommy Lee as well, who was something of a good sport about it.
His next victim wasn’t as accepting though.
26. Someone Slapped Him
Once Dick began picking on Courtney Love, it got even more scandalous. After Dick touched Love, she stood up and slapped him across the face. Since it was on TV, everything was documented—and these pictures further fueled the public scrutiny around Dick.
Not wanting to cause more uproar, Dick stayed silent for a while…until one interview in 2006.
27. His Comments On That Day Were Weird
Dick recalled what happened that day in an interview with The Washington Post. As he put it, "I was half-crocked. They don't have to speculate. I was cohesive and coherent and lucid. I wasn't Courtney Love drunk”. As if his “showing no remorse” wasn’t newsworthy enough, Dick’s other comments revealed a huge truth about him.
28. He Felt The Pressure
The interview turned into a pseudo-interrogation, especially regarding Dick's relationship with men; there had been rumors for years that he was gay. Dick disclosed how much these whispers upset him, and this discussion suddenly led to a very candid and scandalous revelation.
29. He Opened Up
In the middle of the interview, Dick stated that he identifies as bi. He made sure to clarify that being bi does not equate to being exclusively gay, emphasizing that he had experiences with both men and women. He then said, "Just because I've been with guys, and I'm bi, doesn't mean I'm gay".
However, this interview had the opposite effect Dick intended. Instead of putting the rumors to rest, he was now all over the news, and he despised it. So, he acted out once more.
30. He Channeled His Anger Towards The Audience
In December 2006, Dick officially lost it. During an improvised set with comedian Ian Bagg at The Improv in Los Angeles, Dick upset the audience by shouting derogatory comments at them. This derogatory comment toward Black people was more controversial than anything he ever did, so his team urged him to make up for it.
With his tail between his legs, Dick finally decided to take some responsibility.
31. He Issued A Public Apology
After facing backlash for his offensive remark, Dick and his publicist decided to write a statement expressing remorse for offending people. Dick issued an apology, saying that, “I have offended a lot of people, and I am sorry for my insensitivity. I wish to apologize to Ian, to the club and its patrons, and to anyone who was hurt or offended by my remark”.
Everyone wished this was a wake-up call for him, but it wasn't.
32. He Made A Fool Of Himself
A year later, he scored an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Instead of being grateful for the opportunity and cleaning up his behavior, Dick finished what he had started on his infamous Comedy Central roast—you know the one where he “jokingly” harassed audience members. He began disturbing Ivanka Trump—to the point where he began touching her thighs and knee very inappropriately.
It didn’t take a long time before people intervened, and Dick—once again—humiliated himself on the screen.
33. He Didn't Learn His Lesson
Jimmy Kimmel intervened to prevent further inappropriate behavior, and Dick stopped for a second. You thought he came to his senses, right? Well, he continued picking on Trump by grabbing her ponytail and making her really uncomfortable. This time, the reaction he got was more serious.
34. They Dragged Him Out
In response to Andy Dick's behavior, Kimmel got out of his chair, went over to Dick, and called for security to join him on stage. This had to be one of the lowest moments in Dick’s life. Security escorted him off the stage, and Kimmel never wanted him back on the show. Nevertheless, when people asked his thoughts on what happened, Dick responded in a very unexpected way.
35. He Didn’t Even Apologize
Dick’s social media accounts blew up, waiting for him to explain himself. Instead of owning up and apologizing, Dick once again showed no remorse for his actions and made light of the incident on social media. He downplayed his behavior by claiming he'd been examining glitter on her legs.
He was sick of all the drama, so he went in an entirely different direction.
36. He Directed A Movie
Dick had his heart on directing for a while, and in 2006, he finally went for it. His first movie Danny Roane: First Time Director led to a second one pretty quickly. In 2008, Dick announced that he had written a script for the film Daphne Aguilera, based on his alter-ego.
He seemed to be gearing up to make audiences laugh, not offend them. But once more, he failed to stay on the straight and narrow.
37. He Got Into Serious Trouble
One day in 2008, Dick found himself facing the officers again. In the early hours of the day, they took him from a Murrieta restaurant and drove him down to a station. This time his charges were possession of substances coupled with battery. More importantly, this wasn’t the first time he was in trouble with the law, so it wouldn’t be an easy ride for him.
Here is what happened.
38. A Girl Complained About Him
Dick—heavily sloshed at the time—began interacting with a girl outside the restaurant. This interaction soon turned ugly, as Dick inappropriately grabbed the 17-year-old girl in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. Horrified and feeling helpless, the girl called the authorities.
Once the officers came, they discovered something in Dick’s pockets.
39. They Found Some Stuff On Him
While they were searching Dick, the officers found one Xanax pill in his pocket, in addition to a considerable amount of other substances. Dick—who had multiple encounters with authorities in the past—probably expected a harsh sentence. However, the verdict was shocking.
40. He Got Off Easily
In the end, Dick got off easy. With a bail set at $5,000, he easily paid up and got out of this sticky situation. For Dick, the only drawback from this incident was that he was probably no longer allowed at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, the place where the incident occurred.
Maybe he thought he could get away with anything at this point, because this is the only rational reason behind what he did next.
41. He Sinned Again
With the restaurant scene not working out for him, Dick moved on to the bars as his new trouble-making venue. He simply couldn't keep his hands to himself, and soon Dick faced similar charges again. This time, the accusers were a bartender and a patron. Of course, he didn’t admit to any guilt, but now he had to pay up some more.
He pleaded not guilty, posted $60,000 bail, and walked free one more time.
42. He Was Looking For Some Fun
In April 2011, Dick went to a party affiliated with the Newport Beach Film Festival. Since he was spending all his time handling one allegation after the other, he thought he could use a break. Dick was there to have fun, yet his idea of fun was not conventional—not even acceptable.
He got plastered and began engaging in alarming behavior, even for him.
43. He Ruined It
What Dick did that day at the party was a combination of all his past misdeeds. He exposed his body, then he used the event’s backdrop as a toilet and tore it down afterward. Not only did his deranged acts stop the party, but the damages he caused were worth thousands of dollars. More judicial action wasn’t far behind, and this time there were consequences.
44.They No Longer Wanted Him
Of course, all these controversies put an asterisk on Dick’s career. He had a hard time finding jobs, and when he did—he had a hard time keeping them. This was because his idea of a “comedic act” involved kissing and licking people. When he was trying to be “funny” towards the production members of his new independent film Raising Buchanan, they asked him to be funny in his own time—and not to come back on that set again.
45. He Continued To Lose Out
Dick’s behavior was out of hand, and he even began to blame it on external factors, such as the substances he couldn't stop using. One last time, he had to say goodbye to another movie—Vampire Dad—because of his actions. This was a wake-up call for him, and he promised not to engage in such actions in the future.
After all, he’d now lost all his friends, his career, and even his family.
46. It Was Too Late For Him
As of 2018, there was no one left in Dick’s life. Even his own wife Lena Sved issued a restraining order, prohibiting him from being within 100 yards of his family's home. Sved stated that she wanted such protection because Dick was way worse at home than he was anywhere else, if you can imagine.
When she opened up about certain incidents, jaws dropped.
47. His Wife Snitched On Him
Sved discussed an incident where their son locked a disorderly Dick out of their home during a confrontation, leading the comedian to break windows to gain entry. She also recounted incidents where Dick shattered dishes and upended tables, highlighting that this decision was critical for their childrens' safety.
Dick had no choice but to face the karma of his actions, and they all hit him hard—some emotionally, some literally.
48. He Messed Up With The Wrong Person
In 2019, someone finally put Dick in his place—and even more shocking, this person was just a random stranger. The drama went down on when Dick had the urge to engage in an interaction with a man. Like most of the interactions in his life, he began acting improperly and even tried to touch that person.
This time, the man fought back.
49. He Got Hurt
Enraged, the man punched Dick in the head, causing severe damage. Dick fell off to the floor immediately—resulting in his hospitalization for monitoring of potential brain bleeding. Dick ended up not having permanent damage on his body, but on his soul? Now that’s a different story.
50. He Hasn’t Learned
Today, Andy Dick is all but blacklisted from Hollywood. His last film role was in 2016’s Winter Rose, while his last two television roles have only been voice work for animated shows—all the better for the cast and crew not to interact with him. As recently as January 2023, he was still in trouble with the law for his same disturbing proclivities.