John Candy

John Candy

Infobox actor

imagesize =
caption = John Candy in September 1993
birthdate = birth date|mf=yes|1950|10|31|mf=y
birthplace = Toronto, Ontario, Canada
deathdate = death date and age|mf=yes|1994|3|4|1950|10|31
deathplace = Durango, Mexico
birthname = John Candy
othername =
homepage =
emmyawards = Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program
1981 "SCTV Network 90"
spouse = Rosemary Margaret Hobor (1979-1994)

John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian comedian and actor. He rose to fame as a member of the Toronto, Ontario branch of "The Second City", often playing lovable losers and characters with bad luck but big hearts. Candy died of a heart attack in 1994. His film roles were mostly comedic. Candy's daughter, Jennifer is an actress and television producer, having production credits for the television series "Prom Queen" and "Sam Has 7 Friends".


Early life and career

Candy was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the son of Evangeline (née Aker) and Sidney James Candy. [ [ John Candy Biography (1950-1994) ] ] He had an older brother, Jim. His father died of a heart attack at age 35 and when Candy was three years old (his father's father had died of heart attack at a young age as well). He attended Neil McNeil High School, an all-boys, Catholic school in Toronto, where he played football.

Candy's first movie role was in the 1973 film "Class of '44", in which he made a small uncredited appearance. He then appeared in several other low-budget films in the 1970s. In 1976, Candy played a supporting role (with Rick Moranis) on Peter Gzowski's short-lived, late-night television talk show, "Ninety Minutes Live". That same year, as a member of Toronto's branch of The Second City [ [ Second City Toronto Alumni ] ] , he gained wide North American popularity, which grew when he became a cast member on the influential Toronto-based comedy-variety show "Second City Television" ("SCTV"). NBC picked the show up in 1981 and it quickly became a fan favorite.


Among Candy's memorable characterizations for SCTV were unscrupulous street-beat TV personality Johnny LaRue, 3-D horror auteur Doctor Tongue, sycophantic and easily amused talk-show sidekick William B. Williams, and quiescent Melonville Mayor Tommy Shanks. Other characters included cheerful Leutonian clarinetist Yosh Shmenge, who was half of the Happy Wanderers and the subject of the mockumentary "The Last Polka", folksy fishin' musician Gil Fisher, handsome if accent-challenged TV actor Steve Roman, hapless children's entertainer Mr. Messenger, corrupt soap opera doctor William Wainwright and smut merchant Harry, "the Guy With the Snake on His Face".

Mimicry was one of Candy's talents, which he used often at "SCTV". Celebrities impersonated by Candy include Jerry Mathers, Divine (Glen Milstead), Orson Welles, Julia Child, Richard Burton, Darryl Sittler, Luciano Pavarotti, Jimmy the Greek, Tip O'Neill, Don Rickles, Curly Howard, Merlin Olsen, Jackie Gleason, Tom Selleck, Gordon Pinsent, Ed Asner, Gertrude Stein, Doug McGrath and Hervé Villechaize.

By 1980, he began a more active film career having appeared as a soldier in Steven Spielberg's big-budget comedy "1941" and had a supporting role as a parole officer in "The Blues Brothers". A year later, Candy played the lovable, mild-mannered Army recruit Dewey Oxberger in 1981's "Stripes", one of the most successful films of the year. In the next two years, Candy did a small cameo in Harold Ramis' "National Lampoon's Vacation", appeared on "Saturday Night Live" twice (hosting in 1983) while still appearing on "SCTV".

In 1983, Candy was approached to play the character of accountant Louis Tully in "Ghostbusters" (completed and released 1984), but ultimately did not get the role due to his conflicting ideas of how to play the character; the part went instead to Rick Moranis. (However, Candy was one of the many celebrities who appeared chanting "Ghostbusters" in Ray Parker, Jr.'s hit single for the movie). In 1984, Candy played Tom Hanks's womanizing brother in the hit romantic comedy "Splash", considered to be his breakout role.

Throughout the latter half of the 1980s, Candy worked often taking roles in substandard films (even performing the voice of a talking horse in the Bobcat Goldthwait comedy "Hot to Trot"). Although Candy continued to play supporting roles in films like "Spaceballs", he was awarded the opportunity to headline or co-star in such comedy films as "Volunteers"; "Planes, Trains & Automobiles"; "Brewster's Millions; The Great Outdoors; Armed and Dangerous"; "Who's Harry Crumb?" and "Uncle Buck".He also continued to provide memorable bit roles, including a "weird" disc jockey in the comic musical film "Little Shop of Horrors", and a state trooper in the "Sesame Street" film "Follow That Bird".

In 1988, Premiere Radio Networks began "Radio Kandy", a two-hour weekly countdown-based show geared towards Hot AC formatted stations. The program featured sketch comedy, parody commercials, and current music. Actor James Doohan, reprising his familiar Star Trek role, appeared as "Scotty", in control of the radio transmitters putting the program on the air. The program ended in 1990.

He also produced and starred in a Saturday morning animated series on NBC entitled "Camp Candy" in 1989. The show was set in a fictional summer camp run by Candy, featured his two children in supporting roles, and also spawned a brief comic book series published by Marvel Comics' Star Comics imprint


In the early 1990s, Candy's career went into decline after he appeared in a string of critical and commercial failures, including "Nothing But Trouble", "Delirious" and "Once Upon A Crime" although he did appear in major successes such as "Rookie of the Year", "The Rescuers Down Under" and "Cool Runnings". Candy also appeared as a supporting actor as Gus, the Polka King of the Mid-West, in the 1990 Christmas comedy "Home Alone".

Candy attempted to reinvigorate his acting career by broadening his range and playing more dramatic roles. In 1991, Candy appeared in a light romantic comedy-drama, "Only the Lonely" which saw him as a Chicago cop torn between his overbearing mother (Maureen O'Hara) and his new girlfriend (Ally Sheedy). The same year and in rare form, Candy played a dramatic role as Dean Andrews, a shady Southern lawyer in Oliver Stone's "JFK".

In 1991, Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky, and Candy became co-owners of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. The celebrity ownership group attracted a lot of attention in Canada and the team spent a significant amount of money, even signing some highly touted National Football League players. Candy worked on drafts for a character, "Redfeather", for Pocahontas.


Candy died in his sleep on March 4, 1994, while on location in Durango, Mexico, filming "Wagons East!". He was 43. An autopsy revealed he had suffered a coronary embolism, leading to a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and a fatal cardiac arrhythmia.

Candy had been making a significant effort to improve his health; he had recently quit smoking and had started losing weight. His family had a history of heart disease, and he had been warned by doctors several times before to reduce his weight. There is public evidence to indicate Candy was highly self-conscious about his weight all his life. A few years before his death, he canceled a scheduled appearance hosting a CBC awards show because the ceremony's advertising campaign jokingly touted him as "the biggest star in Canada." (Leslie Nielsen hosted instead.)

Candy is survived by his wife, Rosemary Margaret (Hobor), whom he married in 1979, and their children, Jennifer and Christopher. His funeral Mass was held at St. Martin of Tours Church. Candy is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

On March 18, 1994, a special memorial service for Candy, produced by his former improv troupe The Second City, was broadcast live on CHCH TV (Hamilton, Ontario) and transmitted via satellite to eight stations across Canada.cite web| title = CH TV Hamilton History| url=| accessdate = 2007-01-29]


"Wagons East!" was released in the summer of 1994, completed using a body double in Candy's place. [ [ Wagons East (1994) - Trivia ] ]

Candy's final completed movie was "Canadian Bacon (film)", a satirical comedy by Michael Moore that was released the year after his death. Candy played American sheriff Bud Boomer who led the "attack" against Canada.

Candy recorded a voice for the TV film "The Magic 7" in the early-1990s. The film remained in production for years due to animation difficulties and production delays, and eventually it was shelved. Plans were made to launch the film sometime in 2005 or 2006, but never released. It will be released on December 19, 2008.

Candy was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In May 2006, Candy became one of the first four entertainers ever honoured by Canada Post by being featured on a postage stamp. "Blues Brothers 2000" is dedicated to three people, including Candy, who played a supporting role in the original "Blues Brothers".

The John Candy Visual Arts Studio at Neil McNeil Catholic High School, in Toronto, Ontario was dedicated in his honour after his death. John Candy, one of the school's most famous alumni, said during one of his annual visits to the school, “My success is simply rooted in the values and discipline and respect for others that I was taught at Neil McNeil.”

A tribute to Candy was hosted by Dan Aykroyd at the 2007 Grey Cup festivities in Toronto in November 2007. [ [ Grey Cup 2007 - Toronto ] ]

Ween's "Chocolate and Cheese" album (Elektra Records) is "dedicated in loving memory to John Candy (1950-1994)"


*"Class of '44" (1973)
*"It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" (1975)
*"Tunnel Vision" (1976)
*"The Clown Murders" (1976)
*"Find the Lady" (1976)
*"The Silent Partner" (1978)
*"Lost and Found" (1979)
*"1941" (1979)
*"Double Negative" (1980)
*"Kavik" (1980)
*"The Blues Brothers" (1980)
*"Stripes" (1981)
*"Heavy Metal" (1981) (voice)
*"It Came From Hollywood" (1982) (documentary)
*"National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983)
*"Going Berserk" (1983)
*"Splash" (1984)
*"The Last Polka" (1984)
*"Brewster's Millions" (1985)
*"Sesame Street presents Follow That Bird" (1985)
*"Summer Rental" (1985)
*"Volunteers" (1985)
*"Tears Are Not Enough" (1985) (documentary)
*"Armed and Dangerous" (1986)
*"Little Shop of Horrors" (1986)
*"Spaceballs" (1987)
*"Planes, Trains & Automobiles" (1987)
*"She's Having a Baby" (1988) (Cameo)
*"The Great Outdoors" (1988)
*"Hot to Trot" (1988) (voice only)
*"Who's Harry Crumb?" (1989) (also executive producer)
*"Speed Zone!" (1989)
*"Uncle Buck" (1989)
*"Masters of Menace" (1990) (Cameo)
*"Home Alone" (1990)
*"The Rescuers Down Under" (1990) (voice)
*"Nothing But Trouble" (1991)
*"Career Opportunities" (1991)
*"Only the Lonely" (1991)
*"Delirious" (1991)
*"JFK" (1991)
*"Once Upon A Crime" (1992)
*"" (1992)
*"Rookie of the Year" (uncredited) (1993)
*"Cool Runnings" (1993)
*"Hostage For A Day" (1994)
*"Wagons East!" (1994)
*"Canadian Bacon" (1995)
*"The Magic 7" (archive footage) (2008)


External links

* [ - The home of everything John Candy]
*imdb name|id=0001006|name=John Candy
* [ All Movie Guide entry for John Candy]
* [ Find-A-Grave profile for John Candy]

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