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John Candy

John Candy
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  • Country: Canada

About John Candy Biography


Early life and career

Candy was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He was the younger of two sons. His father, Sidney Candy, was of Scottish descent, and his mother Evangeline was of mixed Scottish and Lithuanian descent. His father died quite young from a heart attack. He attended the Neil McNeil Catholic High School, an all-boys, public, Catholic school in Toronto, where he played football.
Candy's first movie role was in Class of '44 in 1973, in which he made a small uncredited appearance. 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, 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, Doug McGrath and Hervé Villechaize.
By 1980, Candy was appearing in mainstream films such as 1941 and The Blues Brothers. Encouraged by his Early success, Candy went on to star in successful comedy films such as National Lampoon's Vacation, Stripes, Splash, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, Brewster's Millions, Who's Harry Crumb?, and Uncle Buck. He also had a part as a maniacal disc jockey in the comic musical film Little Shop of Horrors.
Candy typically played characters who, although they lived somewhat seedy lives, often had their hearts in the right place. Candy was lauded by some as a true comic genius because of his ability to portray an "everyman" with whom the audience could identify.
He also produced and starred in an 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.


Candy was very popular in the 1980s, but in the Early 1990s he appeared in a string of critical and commercial failures such as Nothing But Trouble, Delirious and Once Upon A Crime. After the mediocre success of those films, Candy was widely regarded as a spent force. Soon, however, he reinvigorated his acting career by broadening his range. Candy moved into occasional dramatic roles by appearing in JFK, in which he gave a convincing performance as a shady fatcat lawyer from the south, and took semi-dramatic roles in Only the Lonely and Cool Runnings, in which he played a disgraced former Olympic athlete training four Jamaicans in bobsledding for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Candy received positive reviews for these roles.
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 also made an appearance in the Fox TV movie Hostage For a Day, starring alongside George Wendt.


Candy died of a massive heart attack in his sleep during location filming in Durango, Mexico, for the western comedy film Wagons East!. Doctors found that Candy's fatal heart attack had been the result of a complete blockage of one of his coronary arteries.
Candy quit smoking prior to his death and was losing weight - fellow cast and crew on Wagons East even said he looked healthier than ever. Candy was warned by doctors several times to lose weight due to a genetic predisposition to heart disease, from which his father had died at the age of 35. Candy refused, and reportedly stated that his portly frame was what gave him his film roles. Despite this, there was public evidence that Candy was self-conscious about his appearance. A few years before his death, Candy canceled an appearance as host of an awards show for the CBC because the advertising campaign jokingly touted him "the biggest star in Canada." (Leslie Nielsen hosted the show instead.)
Candy was survived by his widow, Rosemary Margaret (Hoban), whom he married in 1979, and their two children, Jennifer and Christopher. His funeral Mass was held at St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto and was broadcast Live across Canada. Candy is interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
On March 18, 1994, "Remembering John" a special memorial service for John Candy arranged by Second City was broadcast Live on CHCH TV (Hamilton, Ontario) and transmitted via satellite to eight stations across Canada.[1]


Wagons East was completed using a body double in Candy's place. Released in the summer of 1994, critics and audiences alike denounced the film as one of the worst Candy ever made.
Candy's final completed movie Canadian Bacon, a satirical comedy by Michael Moore was released the following year. Candy played the American sheriff Bud Boomer who led the "attack" against Canada. Its release was delayed because Moore changed the ending of the film following Candy's death.[1] 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 to date it has not been released. It is, however, scheduled to be released in 2007.
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 major 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.”
The 1994 Ween album, Chocolate and Cheese, is dedicated to Candy. (

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Comments (8)

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  • A4Astro Comment By: a4astro Date: 2007-09-24 11:30:07
    Gosh he was sooooo funny! Great asset.
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • hamptonbeach Comment By: hamptonbeach Date: 2007-09-17 10:46:30
    John C is great!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • Tbad556 Comment By: tbad556 Date: 2007-05-06 05:36:02
    Great site Please Rate my Miami Heat. Thank You
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • Lord Tintagel of Lochaber Comment By: tintagel castle Date: 2007-05-01 08:21:15
    We all miss John's humour - I particularly enjoyed the Jamaican Bob-Sleigh movie.
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • suscan Comment By: suscan Date: 2007-04-29 01:10:06
    Good Site. John Candy was a funny guy.
    Votes:0Good   Poor


  • Steinomite
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Celebrity Gossips

  • Who would star in the film ...  |  Sep 13, 2010 17:25:27  |  By Steinomite
    Farley's predecessor, John Candy, would probably also have been great. But as ridiculous as this little exercise is, I decided I had to confine myself to ...View Full Article  View Full Article
  • Bill Murray is 60! Celebrat...  |  Sep 13, 2010 17:25:27  |  By Steinomite
    39 In fact, the parts of the four Ghostbusters were originally written for Belushi, Eddie Murphy, John Candy and Christopher Walken. ...View Full A...  View Full Article
  • Voices: In style  |  Sep 13, 2010 17:25:26  |  By Steinomite
    Sounds like right out of a John Candy movie. Maybe the guys who wear their pants around their knees will stop and think about this. ...View Full Ar...  View Full Article
  • Chicago Bears: Can They Com...  |  Sep 13, 2010 17:25:26  |  By Steinomite
    ... careers of Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and (for us old-schoolers) John Belushi, John Candy, Gilda Radner, and countless o...  View Full Article

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