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John Candy
John Candy.jpg
Candy in September 1993 at Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
John Franklin Candy

(1950-10-31)October 31, 1950
Died March 4, 1994(1994-03-04) (aged 43)
Durango City, Mexico
Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, US
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater
Occupation Actor
Years active 1969–1994
Rosemary Margaret Hobor
(m. 1979⁠–⁠1994)
Children 2

John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian comedian and actor known mainly for his work in Hollywood films.

Candy rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of the Second City and its related Second City Television series, and through his appearances in such comedy films as Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, Home Alone, Spaceballs, and Uncle Buck, as well as more dramatic roles in Only the Lonely and JFK.

One of his most renowned onscreen performances was as Del Griffith, the talkative shower-curtain ring salesman in the John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

While filming the Western parody Wagons East!, Candy died of a heart attack in Durango, Mexico, on March 4, 1994, aged 43. His final two films, Wagons East! and Canadian Bacon, are dedicated to his memory.

Early life

Candy was born in 1950 in Newmarket, Ontario. He was brought up in a working-class Roman Catholic family. Candy's father was of English and Scottish descent, while his mother was of Polish and Ukrainian descent.

Candy studied at Neil McNeil Catholic High School, later enrolled in the Centennial Community College to study journalism, and went to McMaster University for higher education.

His first film role was a small, unaccredited appearance in the 1973 film Class of '44. He appeared in several other low-budget films during the 1970s. In 1976 he gained wide North American popularity when he became a cast member on the influential Toronto-based comedy-variety show Second City Television. NBC picked the show up in 1981 and it quickly became a fan favourite. It won Emmy Awards for the show's writing in 1981 and 1982.


John Candy's grave
Candy's grave at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California

In 1994, while on vacation from film production (Wagons East!) in Durango City, Mexico, Candy called his co-stars from his hotel, then went to sleep. Some time after midnight, on March 4, 1994, Candy was found dead from a presumed myocardial infarction even though this was unproven, as no autopsy was performed. He was 43 years old. The heavyset Candy had struggled for some years with weight-related health issues.

Candy's funeral was held at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Candy was entombed in the mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. His crypt lies just above fellow actor Fred MacMurray. On March 18, 1994, a special memorial service for Candy, produced by his former improvization troupe, the Second City, was broadcast across Canada.


Year Movie Role Notes
1973 Class of '44 Paule Uncredited
1975 It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time Kopek
1976 Tunnel Vision Cooper
The Clown Murders Ollie
Find the Lady Kopek
1978 The Silent Partner Simonsen
1979 Lost and Found Carpentier
1941 Pvt. Foley
1980 Top Kid Molly Conway Puppeter & Voice
The Blues Brothers Parole Officer Burton Mercer
1981 Stripes Dewey "Ox" Oxberger
Heavy Metal Desk Sergeant, Dan / Den, Robot Voice
1982 It Came from Hollywood Himself
1983 National Lampoon's Vacation Russ Lasky
Going Berserk John Bourgignon
1984 Splash Freddie Bauer
1985 Brewster's Millions Spike Nolan
Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird Policeman
Summer Rental Jack Chester
Volunteers Tom Tuttle
1986 Armed and Dangerous Frank Dooley
Little Shop of Horrors Wink Wilkinson
1987 Spaceballs Barf
Planes, Trains and Automobiles Del Griffith
1988 The Great Outdoors Chet Ripley
She's Having a Baby Chet from 'The Great Outdoors' Uncredited
Hot to Trot Don Voice
1989 Who's Harry Crumb? Harry Crumb Also Executive Producer
Speed Zone Charlie Cronan
Uncle Buck Buck Russell
1990 Masters of Menace Beer Truck Driver
Home Alone Gus Polinski – Polka King of the Midwest
The Rescuers Down Under Wilbur Voice
1991 Nothing But Trouble Deputy Dennis / Eldona
Career Opportunities C.D. Marsh Uncredited
Only the Lonely Danny Muldoon
Delirious Jack Gable
JFK Dean Andrews Jr.
1992 Once Upon a Crime Augie Morosco
Boris and Natasha: The Movie Kalishak
1993 Rookie of the Year Cliff Murdoch (Announcer) Uncredited
Cool Runnings Irving "Irv" Blitzer
1994 Wagons East! James Harlow Released posthumously
1995 Canadian Bacon Sheriff Bud Boomer Filmed in 1993; Released posthumously
Pocahontas Redfeather Voice, character scrapped after his death


Year Television Role Notes
1972 Cucumber Weatherman Unknown episodes
Dr. Simon Locke Richie Episode: "Death Holds the Scale"
1974 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak 2nd Son Episode: "Last Bride of Salem"
Dr. Zonk and the Zunkins Unknown episodes
1976 The David Steinberg Show Spider Reichman Episode one
Episode two
90 Minutes Live (Various) TV series
1976–1977 Coming Up Rosie Wally Wypyzypychwk TV series (With Rosemary Radcliffe, Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O'Hara)
1976–1979 Second City TV (Various) 50 episodes
1977 King of Kensington Bandit Episode: "The Hero"
1980 The Courage of Kavik, the Wolf Dog Pinky TV film
Big City Comedy Himself (host) / Various TV series (sketch comedy)
1981 Tales of the Klondike TV mini-series
Saturday Night Live Juan Gavino Episode: "George Kennedy/Miles Davis"
1981–1983 SCTV Network 90 (Various) 38 episodes
1983 SCTV Channel (Various) Episode: "Maudlin O' the Night"
1984 The New Show (Various) Five episodes
1985 Martin Short: Concert for the North Americas Marcel TV film
The Canadian Conspiracy (Various) TV film
The Last Polka Yosh Shmenge/Pa Shmenge TV film
1987 Really Weird Tales Howard Jensen ('Cursed with Charisma') TV film
1989 The Rocket Boy The Hawk TV film
Camp Candy Himself Voice
1990 The Dave Thomas Comedy Show One episode
1992 Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Narrator Episode: "Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat/Millions of Cats"
1994 Hostage for a Day Yuri Petrovich TV film
2009 The Magic 7 Smokestack Sam TV film; Voice; Produced in 1990–1993; Movie never released

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