It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two decades since John Candy passed away. A comedy force of nature who made his most profound mark in the 1980s with a string of films that cast him as the everyman hero (often with the help of John Hughes’ might pen and directorial skills), Candy left an impressive legacy and a lot of fans who craved more. To celebrate Candy and his work in films like The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains, And Automobiles, and Summer Rental (and National Lampoon’s Family Vacation, for truly it was Candy who was the true king of vacation movies), here’s a look at some interesting facts you might not know about the Canadian-born legend.
To further celebrate the legacy of the man I would feel most comfortable spooning with, here are eight fascinating facts about the life of John Candy.
1. He almost became a part of Ghostusters.
In 1983, John Candy was pulling in $350K a picture after the success of Stripes with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. Dan Akroyd and Ramis had written the part of Louis Tully in Ghostbusters specifically for Candy, but the actor turned down the smaller paycheck and the part ultimately went to Rick Moranis.
While we may not have gotten John Candy in the actual Ghostbusters movie, he does make a brief cameo in the music video for the movie’s theme song by Ray Parker Jr.
2. He was part owner of a Canadian football team.
In 1991, then-owner of the Los Angeles Kings Bruce McNall purchased the CFL’s the Toronto Argonauts with Wayne Gretzky. Candy called his friend McNall to congratulate him on the purchase and McNall talked him into investing in the team as well. In celebration of the new purchase, McNall brought in the Blues Brothers for opening night and Candy even joined the band on stage.
3. The man was not one for promoting himself.
Candy might have been a larger than life character on stage and in the movies, but off-camera, he wasn’t always fond of the attention. Even when he had a big movie in theaters, Candy would fight the studio on doing interviews to promote it. According to Mental Floss, in a 1986 interview with the LA Times, he said one reason he didn’t like doing press is because he thought he was kind of a boring guy:
“I think the real reason I hate to do interviews is because I think I’m boring. I just always thought there were more important things to talk about than myself. Also I get nervous. When I did a few interviews several years ago, there were a few things said about me that I was uncomfortable with. I felt I’d put my foot in my mouth. So it’s an awkward situation.”
4. He was John Hughes’ go-to-guy.
John Hughes liked to reuse actors, and he used John Candy in his movies more than anybody else. The actor appeared in seven of Hughes’ movies between 1983 and 1991: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, She’s Having A Baby, Uncle Buck, Home Alone and Career Opportunities.