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March 4, 1994: Canadian comedian John Candy dies of a heart attack

John Candy died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while filming a movie near Durango, Mexico.

Candy was known for his film work and the characters he created while part of the Second City comedy troupe

On March 4, 1994, Canadian comedian John Candy died of a heart attack. The CBC's Susan Smitten looks back at his life. 1:44

John Candy died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while filming a movie near Durango, Mexico.

The Canadian comedian grew to stardom on SCTV with the Second City comedy team in the late 1970s. Three seasons of the series were produced in Edmonton.

The Shmenge Brothers, Johnny LaRue and William B. Williams became popular characters for Candy while working on the show.
John Candy in the role of Johnny LaRue, one of his best known characters from SCTV. (SCTV)

Candy later became a big-screen star making more than 30 movies with memorable roles in Uncle Buck, Trains, Planes and Automobiles and Cool Runnings.

The Ontario native jumped at the opportunity to own a CFL team when he, along with Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, purchased the Toronto Argonauts in 1991. The team went on to win the Grey Cup that year.
Bruce McNall, John Candy, and Wayne Gretzky at a news conference when they purchased the Toronto Argonauts football team in 1991. (CBC)

John Candy was survived by his wife Rosemary Margaret Hobor, and two children, Jennifer and Christopher.

In the video, CBC's Susan Smitten features some of Candy's career highlights and reaction to his death from the arts community in Edmonton.

About the Author

John Zazula

Associate Producer

John Zazula is an associate producer at CBC and has been with the Corp. for more than 15 years. As a lifelong Edmontonian, John brings that experience to the job.