Saturday, August 31, 2013

Remembering John Candy October 31, 1950 - March 4, 1994

John Candy was born in Newmarket, Ontario Canada and was raised in a catholic family.  Following high school, Candy completed his college education at both Centennial College in Toronto and
McMaster University.

His first movie role was in a small 1973 film, "Class of 44 and continued to appear on other low budget films during the 1970's including a film "Silent Partner" with Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer.  He was also a member of Toronto's "The Second City" where he continued to gain North American popularity as a cast member of the comedy variety show "Second City Television" and won Emmy awards for the show's writing in 1981 and 82.  Candy was great at impersonations including Jerry Mathers "The Beaver" "Jimmy the Greek" Richard Burton, and Jackie Gleason along with several others.

In 1980, Candy began a more active film career having appeared in "1941" and "The Blues Brothers"  Soon after, he had a role in the successful film "Stripes" along with appearance in "National Lampoon's Vacation" and appeared on Saturday Night Live on two different occasions.    Three years later he headlined the film "Going Beserk"  and was soon approached about doing a role in an upcoming film called "Ghost Busters"

Over the years, Candy became a box office sensation with roles on some of the funniest movies ever.  He had a supporting role in "Spaceballs" followed by "Volunteers" "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" Who's Harry Crumb?" and one of my favorites "Uncle Buck"  He also produced and starred in a Saturday morning animated children's show "Camp Candy"

Candy's career took a decline in the early 1990's.  He had roles in comedies but also tried to blow air into his career by taking a couple of serious roles.  He appeared in "Only the Lonely" and Oliver Stone's "JFK as a shady lawyer.

Candy appeared in 34 movies during the 1980's which allowed him "to go from macaroni and cheese to macaroni and lobster."

John Candy along with hockey great Wayne Gretzky became part owners of a Canadian Football team, "Toronto Argonauts" that attracted a great deal of attention in Canada.
Candy's prayer card

John Candy's funeral program
In 1994, John Candy was filming "Wagons East!" in Durango, Mexico.  One evening, he called his partners and told them he was planning to sell his share of the football team.  He had just cooked a late meal for himself and went to bed.  During his sleep, on March 4, 1994, Candy died from a heart attack. The following morning his assistant rang for him and when he didn't get answer, the assistant let himself in and found Candy lifeless in bed dressed in a black and red checkered night shirt .  It was determined that he died between 5:00-7:00am.  At the request of John's wife, there was no autopsy performed.

Candy's memorial service
John Candy's funeral mass was held at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Los Angeles (program and prayer card pictured) on March 21, 1994 near his home.  Among those who attended his funeral were Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Rick Moranis. Dan Ackroyd read the lyrics of Candy's favorite song "O Canada"
A memorial service was also held in St. John's Cathedral in Toronto and was broadcast live on Canadian television.

John Candy rests in a mausoleum in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California (two crypts above actor Fred MacMurray of My Three Sons fame).

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