John Candy, the popular star of such 1980s and 1990s comedies as Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Cool Runnings, Spaceballs, The Great Outdoors, and Uncle Buck, passed away on March 4, 1994, 25 years ago Monday. The Canadian actor, who got his start on SCTV, died while filming the comedy Wagon’s East, and was just 43-years-old at the time of his death.
To mark the anniversary of Candy’s death, actor Ryan Reynolds, a fellow Canadian, on Sunday posted a tribute to Candy’s work to his Twitter account.
“We cooked up a small tribute to a comedic genius and Canadian hero,” Reynolds tweeted. “If you haven’t seen much of his work, take a look at his films. He was a treasure,” he said. He went on to thank Candy’s children, Chris Candy and Jen Candy.
The nearly two-minute clip features scenes from several of the more than 40 movies that Candy made in his short life, including Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Spaceballs, and Home Alone, in which Candy played the small but memorable role of Gus Polinski, the “Polka King of the Midwest.” There’s even a glimpse of his rare dramatic role in Oliver Stone’s JFK.
The video posted by Reynolds had been viewed more than 2.3 million times as of Sunday night. It features the song “Every Time You Go Away,” by Paul Young.
Why is John Candy trending? Did he pass away? Yes. 25 years ago today, and he is deeply missed by anyone with a heart.https://t.co/FRLRxUD8Xp
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) March 3, 2019
John Candy – yes, that was his real name – was born in Ontario in 1950. He did some TV and movie acting in Canada throughout the 1970s but got his big break when he joined the Toronto company of Second City, which was featured as part of the TV sketch series SCTV in the early 1980s.
This led to roles in movies, including a small part in The Blues Brothers in 1980. This began a run of parts in memorable comedies, such as Stripes and National Lampoon’s Vacation. He got a memorable supporting role as Tom Hanks’ friend in 1984’s Splash. This was followed by a run of big parts in films written and/or directed by John Hughes, including Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, and Uncle Buck. He also had the small part in the Hughes-written megahit Home Alone.
It’s the 25th anniversary of John Candy’s passing. We cooked up a small tribute to a comedic genius and Canadian hero. If you haven’t seen much of his work, take a look at his films. He was a treasure. Thanks to @chriscandy4u and @therealjencandy. ???????? pic.twitter.com/dHvuviKnBs
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) March 3, 2019
In 1993, after a string of flops, Candy starred in the hit comedy Cool Runnings, in which he played the coach of the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the Olympics.
There were two Candy movies that were released after his 1994 death- Wagons East, and Canadian Bacon, director Michael Moore’s only fictional film, which depicted a war between the United States and Canada.