John Candy’s Kids Honor the Late ‘Uncle Buck’ Star on His Birthday
John Candy, the late star of films including Uncle Buck, Cool Runnings and Spaceballs, would have turned 66 on October 31, 2016. Sadly, Candy died of a heart attack at age 43 during the production of Western parody Wagons East in 1994 — and his two children, Jen and Chris Candy, recently sat down to discuss the experience of growing up with, and losing, their father the comedy icon.
Jen and Chris sat down for a conversation about their dad on "As It Happens," a radio show from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (though Candy raised his kids in Los Angeles where he worked, he was born in Toronto, Ontario). They told host Carol Off that the sudden loss of their father was, unsurprisingly, "devastating."
"It's a devastating experience we went through. You kind of live with it for the rest of your life, the loss of a parent," said Chris Candy, who is an actor like his father, as is Jen. "But you learn a lot, growing up with him gone. But I remember the time. There was a lot of community had come into town — from family to people he worked with."
Chris also shared a memory of when he first realized what his father did for a living around age 5, when Candy was working on 1989 private-eye comedy Who's Harry Crumb?
"I remember going to set one day in Vancouver where they were filming. And he was dressed up in this incredible blue leather outfit with a bald wig and self-tanner. And he looked like this Eastern European hairdresser," he said. "And I just remember looking at this massive man — my father — as this character, going, 'OK, this is not normal.'"
When asked if she'll do something to commemorate her father's 66th birthday on Halloween, Jen said "yes and no," since she honors him throughout the month of October and spends time with loved ones.
"But I think talking about him with people is my homage to him around this time," Jen mused. "Because a lot of people love to hear stories and a lot of people love to share their stories. And that's really good. And so you always just say, 'Happy Birthday, Dad.' That's what I do."
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