John Franklin Candy was born on October 31, 1950. He was a Canadian actor and comedian who was most known for his roles in Hollywood movies. In the 1970s, he gained fame as a member of “The Second City” in Toronto and its “Second City Television” (SCTV) series, as well as in the films “Stripes” and “Home Alone.” In the John Hughes comedy picture “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” (1987), he played Del Griffith. Candy was a co-owner of the Canadian Football League (CFL)’s ‘Toronto Argonauts,’ and the team won the Grey Cup in 1991 while under his ownership. We are happily celebrating his birthday today.
John Franklin Candy
October 31, 1950
March 4, 1994 (age 43)
John Candy was raised in Newmarket, Ontario, and was born in Toronto on October 31, 1950. He was raised in a working-class Catholic family as the son of Sidney James Candy and Evangeline (née Aker) Candy. When he was five years old, his father died of heart disease complications at the age of 35. He attended Toronto’s Neil McNeil Catholic High School. Long before he considered acting, he aspired to be a football player, but a knee injury prohibited him from doing so. Later, he studied journalism at Centennial College before enrolling at McMaster University. He began performing while still in college. In the debut season of the Tarragon Theater in Toronto, he was cast in a small role as a Shriner in “Creeps,” a new Canadian play about cerebral palsy. Following that, he guest-starred in a Canadian children’s television series called “Cucumber,” and made a small, uncredited appearance in “Class of ’44” (1973).
Candy joined the Toronto chapter of “The Second City” in 1972. As a member of the company, he received widespread North American recognition, which grew when he joined the cast of the iconic Toronto-based comic variety show “Second City Television” (SCTV). The show was picked up by NBC in 1981 and rapidly became a fan favorite. It received Emmy Awards for writing in 1981 and 1982. Candy took a break from SCTV in 1979 to pursue a more active film career, starring in “Lost and Found” (1979) and playing a U.S. Army soldier in Steven Spielberg’s big-budget comedy “1941.” On April 28, 1979, he married Rosemary in Toronto, Canada. They had two children, a girl and a boy, named Jennifer Candy and Chris Candy, respectively.
He returned to Canada for roles in the film “The Courage of Kavik” (1980). Candy starred as Dewey Oxberger, a kind, mild-mannered Army recruit, in “Stripes” (1981), one of the year’s most popular pictures. He voiced several characters in the animated feature “Heavy Metal” (1981). He made two appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (hosting in 1983) while still appearing on SCTV. He made a cameo appearance in the Canadian film “Going Berserk” (1983). Candy’s breakout performance was in the smash romantic comedy “Splash,” in which he played Tom Hanks’ womanizing brother. He starred in his first comedic hit in a number of years with “Cool Runnings” (1993). He made his directorial debut in the 1994 comedy “Hostage for a Day.” His last appearance was in “Canadian Bacon” (1995).
Candy died on March 4, 1994, after a heart attack, according to a spokesperson. He was 43 at the time. He weighed more than 300 pounds (140 kg) at times in his life due to his obesity and had a tendency to binge eat in response to professional difficulties. After his death, he was honored on various occasions. Ween’s album “Chocolate and Cheese” was dedicated to the late Canadian star’s memory.
Candy portrays Weatherman in the television show “Cucumber.”
Candy portrays Paule in “Class of ‘44,” an American coming-of-age comedy-drama film.
Candy receives a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program for SCTV Network 90.
Candy makes an appearance in Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters.”
Candy makes his directorial debut in the comedy “Hostage for a Day.”
Candy portrays Sheriff Bud Boomer in “Canadian Bacon.”
Why We Love John Candy
He made us laugh
Candy was a standout on both small and big comedy screens. The comedian had an uncanny ability to be hilarious, relatable, and also lovable.
He was an SCTV star
According to fellow cast member Danny Thomas, Candy was a wonderful fit for SCTV. SCTV garnered multiple Emmy nominations after it switched from Canadian television to NBC in 1981. Candy and other members of the cast won Outstanding Writing awards in 1982 and 1983.
He was super talented
Candy was a man of many talents. He was a Hollywood star, a comedian, and also did a few hosting gigs. He also co-owned a team in addition to hosting his radio show.
5 Surprising Facts
He was John Hughes’ go-to guy
John Hughes liked recasting actors, and Candy appeared in more of his films than anybody else.
He owned a radio show
Candy hosted "Radio Kandy," a hot adult contemporary radio music countdown distributed by Premiere Networks, from 1988 to 1990.
He was a fan of Gary Larson
Candy was a fan of Gary Larson's "The Far Side" comic strip.
He almost worked alongside Sylvester Stallone
He would have featured in the comedy movie "Bartholomew vs. Neff," feuding with neighboring homeowner Sylvester Stallone.
He didn’t like watching himself on camera
Candy was stressed by film premieres because he loathed watching himself on screen.
John Candy FAQs
How much did John Candy weigh at his death?
He weighed 275 pounds.
What was John Candy addicted to?
He was addicted to Cocaine.
Did John Candy write home alone?
No. It was written by John Hughes.
John Candy’s birthday dates