Candy was one of Canada's greatest, and funniest, character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck (1989) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). His career has handed him some dry spells, but Candy always rebounded.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, in the year 1950, Candy found his passion for drama while attending a community college. He found a number of bit parts in Canadian television shows, and also in such small films as Tunnel Vision (1976) and Find the Lady (1976). However, his big success came at the age of twenty-seven, when he became part of the comedy group "Second City" in Toronto. Alongside such soon-to-be Canadian stars as Catherine O'Hara (one of Candy's lifelong friends), Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, and Harold Ramis, Candy was also part of the television show the group inspired. "SCTV" (1976) earned Candy a reputation for his quirky humor, and his uncanny imitations of others.
After the television series, Candy appeared alongside fellow Canadian Dan Aykroyd in the Steven Spielberg flop 1941 (1979). However, other jobs followed, and Candy landed a role, once again with Aykroyd, the successful classic The Blues Brothers (1980). Candy played a police officer who is part of the chase after Jake and Elwood Blues. The film was a hit, and Candy followed up accordingly.
Candy acted in the smash hit Stripes (1981) where he played a dopey, overweight recruit affectionately nicknamed 'Ox'. After the success of Stripes (1981), Candy returned to the Second City with the other former stars, in "SCTV Network" (1981). Candy also hosted "Saturday Night Live" before landing himself a role in the Ron Howard film Splash (1984), a romantic comedy about a mermaid who washes ashore and learns to live like a human. Candy played a sleazy womanizing brother to the character played by Tom Hanks. The film was a bigger success than even Stripes (1981), and a number of people have said that Splash (1984) was his breakout role.
He took a second billing in the comedic film Brewster's Millions (1985) where a man must spend thirty million in order to inherit three hundred million from his deceased relative. Candy played the man's best friend, who accidentally gets in the way as much as helping out. Candy continued making films tirelessly, including the film Armed and Dangerous (1986) where he and Eugene Levy play characters who become security guards.
1987 was an especially good year to Candy, giving him two classic roles: Barf the Mawg in the Mel Brooks comedy Spaceballs (1987) and the bumbling salesman Del Griffith alongside Steve Martin's uptight character in the John Hughes film Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). The latter film is a golden classic, and is one of Candy's greatest films. He followed up immediately with The Great Outdoors (1988), once again alongside Dan Aykroyd. Candy landed another classic role in the film Uncle Buck (1989) which was about a bumbling uncle who must look after his brother's three children.
Although he was in the smash hit Home Alone (1990), Candy's career fell into a slump, turning out unsuccessful films in the early nineties. This caused him to change his strategy by taking more serious roles. The first of these serious roles was the corrupt lawyer Dean Andrews in the 'Oliver Stone' film JFK (1991). The film was a big success, and Candy moved on from this victory to make the film Cool Runnings (1993) about the first Jamaican bobsled team.
Candy was well known for his size, usually at six feet two, and weighing around 300 pounds. However, he was very sensitive about the subject, and in the nineties tried to lose weight and quit smoking. He was aware that heart attacks were in his family: both his father and his grandfather died of heart attacks, and Candy wanted to prevent that happening to him as best he could.
In the mid-nineties, Candy filmed the Michael Moore comedy Canadian Bacon (1995), and went to Mexico to film the western spoof Wagons East (1994). It was in Mexico that Candy had a heart attack, and passed away in March 1994. "Canadian Bacon" was released a year after his death, and is his last film to date.
Candy was loved by thousands of people who had loved his classic antics in Splash (1984) and The Great Outdoors (1988). He was well-known for his roles in Stripes (1981) and Uncle Buck (1989), and he himself never forgot his Canadian background.
|Rosemary Margaret Hobor||(28 April 1979 - 4 March 1994) (his death) 2 children|
Often appeared in films written and/or directed by John Hughes
Often worked in a dance in his movies (Spaceballs, The Great Outdoors, even The Rescuers Down Under)
Often played good-hearted slobs
His large girth
His role as Uncle Buck
The musical group Ween dedicated their 1994 LP, "Chocolate And Cheese", to him.
Interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, USA in the Mausoleum, Room 7, Block 1.
He was a co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League
He died while filming Wagons East (1994) in Mexico.
He was part of the group Northern Lights, which sang the song "Tears Are Not Enough" which was on the "We Are The World" album.
He has a cameo in Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" music video.
He attended Holy Cross Catholic School up to grade 8 which was the same school attended by actress Natalie Higashi, several years later.
Graduated Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School.
He was born in East York (which is a suburb of Toronto) and he attended high school in Scarborough (another suburb of Toronto).
Has appeared in ten movies with "Saturday Night Live" (1975) alumni, more than any other non-SNL actor.
He stayed in the notorious Whidden Hall residence during his years at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
His father, Sidney, died of a heart attack at age 35 in 1955 when John was only five years old.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 87-88. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Weighed over 300 pounds for most of his life.
Turned down the role of Louis Tully in Ghostbusters (1984). It went to Rick Moranis. Candy, did however, appear in Ray Parker Jr.'s music video "Ghost Busters", celebrating the soundtrack of the film, along with other individuals who either refused to be in or failed to make the final cut for casting of the film.
According to Maureen O'Hara, just before going to Mexico, Candy talked to her on the phone and told her that he feared going to Mexico because he felt that "something bad is going to happen there".
Has appeared in more John Hughes movies than any other actor, starring or doing cameos in seven of them: National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) co-starring Steve Martin, The Great Outdoors (1988) co-starring Dan Aykroyd; appears in a cameo in She's Having a Baby (1988). Stars in Uncle Buck (1989), co-starring a young Macaulay Culkin. Has a brief cameo in Career Opportunities (1991) and a bit part alongside "SCTV" (1976) alumni and best friend Catherine O'Hara in Home Alone (1990), also starring Macaulay Culkin.
Sat in the front row for Super Bowl XXIII (49ers vs. Bengals). According to legend, right before the 49ers game-winning drive, quarterback Joe Montana pointed toward the stands and said to tackle Harris Barton, "Hey look over there. Isn't that John Candy?".
Was supposed to host "Saturday Night Live" (1975) with Eugene Levy in 1985 (he, Levy and Billy Crystal did a promo for it on SNL the week before it was supposed to happen), but that episode never happened, due to a writer's strike shortly after the promo was aired.
Was a good friend of Wayne Gretzky and was co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts with him.
Was considered by many to be one of the most genuinely nice people in Hollywood/Show Business.
He played a member of law enforcement in at least 10 movies; It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (1975), The Clown Murders (1976), Find the Lady (1976), The Blues Brothers (1980), Heavy Metal (1981), Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird (1985), Armed and Dangerous (1986) (although his character was a security guard for most of the film, he was wrongfully terminated as a police officer in the beginning of the movie), Only the Lonely (1991), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Canadian Bacon (1995). This does not include Vacation (1983), in which he played a rent-a-cop or Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), in which he played a private investigator.
Was a fan of Doctor Who.
Was a part-owner of the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL with Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky. The group signed Raghib Ismail on the first day of the 1991 NFL draft, where he was projected the #1 overall pick.
In a 2004 interview Steve Martin stated that at the time of John's death Steve was going through a divorce, so he briefly moved in with John's widow and daughters to help them out through this tough time and to get away from his soon to be ex-wife.
His house near Newmarket, Ontario, Canada was just several blocks from the residence of fellow Canadian comedian Jim Carrey.
Many of his friends state that he never had anything bad to say about anyone.
In attendance at his funeral were Eugene Levy, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Martin Short, Rick Moranis, Mariel Hemingway, Rhea Perlman, Ed Harris, Catherine O'Hara and Dan Aykroyd (who delivered the eulogy).
Inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1998 (charter member).
His original A&E Biography was actually a televised tribute to John Candy called "A Tribute to John Candy" that was aired shortly after his death.
He was a heavy smoker for most of his adult life. He officially quit smoking cigarettes a few months before he passed away.
His production company was "Frostbacks Productions".
According to Eugene Levy, John Candy was so beloved that when the procession was heading to the cemetery where John was interned, he looked over and saw that there was no traffic on the 405 Freeway, and that police officers were stationed at the on ramps holding traffic. When he asked a police officer what was going on, he was informed that the decision to stop traffic was up to the LAPD. Further, the only other times they stopped traffic was for Presidential motorcades and when the Pope visited Los Angeles.
I think I may have become an actor to hide from myself. You can escape into a character.
|Summer Rental (1985)||$800,000|
|Armed and Dangerous (1986)||$2,000,000|
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