John Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994)
John Franklin Candy was born in Newmarket, Ontario, He attended Centennial College and McMaster University.
His first movie role was uncredited in 1973 in Class of ’44. In 1976, he joined The Second City and gained much popularity by appearing in the comedy/variety show Second City Television — better known as SCTV. In 1984, NBC picked up the Canadian TV show SCTV that had won two Emmys for writing in 1981 and 1982.
Thanks to SCTV, Candy had a smoother transition into movies. The popularity of his movies made him a household name. He was in 1941, Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Splash, Going Berserk, Spaceballs, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Brewster’s Millions, The Great Outdoors, Armed and Dangerous, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Summer Rental, Uncle Buck and Little Shop of Horrors. And all that was just in the 80s!
In the early 90s, Candy’s career hit a downturn due to a string of terrible movies — Nothing but Trouble, Delirious and Once Upon a Crime. There were some highlights too: he was a voice in The Rescuers Down Under and appeared in Home Alone and Cool Runnings. The failures led Candy to seek out dramatic roles — Only the Lonely and JFK.
In 1991, Bruce McNall (a thoroughbred racehorse owner who won France’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe), Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and Candy became part owners of the Toronto Argonauts, a team in the Canadian Football league. The Argonauts won the 1991 Grey Cup, Canada’s answer to the Super Bowl. Candy was a lifelong, die hard Argonauts fan so this was very much a dream come true for him!
In 1994, Candy was filming Wagons East! in Mexico. He called his friends to say he was selling his share of the Argonauts. He then phoned an assistant and had a late night dinner and went to sleep. After midnight on March 4, it was discovered that Candy had died of a heart attack. Candy was survived by his wife Rosemary, daughter Jennifer and son Christopher.
Though Candy was filming Wagons East! at the time of his death, Canadian Bacon is actually his final film. Wagons East! was released in 1995. Canadian Bacon, though filmed in 1993, was also released in 1995, but after Wagons East!.
In total, Candy appeared in 44 films (including a film The Magic 7 that hasn’t been released) and 25 TV shows or TV movies.