John Candy’s unexpected death in 1994 came as a shock to his fans and was a loss to the film community. The larger than life comedy actor died aged 43 while filming ‘Wagons East’ in Mexico. He was found in his hotel room according to his spokesperson, Anna Perez. She spoke to the New York Times to inform them that the ‘Cool Runnings’ star had passed away.
“None of us believed it would happen,” said Frank Hober, John’s brother-in-law.
Candy was known for his size and it became almost a part of his ‘act’ but despite being overweight he always managed to look healthy which is incredible considering he was carrying 330lbs in weight and enjoyed smoking a pack-a-day.
John perhaps didn’t heed the lessons learned by his father’s death; a man who also died due to heart problems.
But John’s excesses were fuelled by deeper issues and it is widely reported that he suffered with anxiety and panic disorder while on set. His friend and producer, Peter Kaminsky, was among the first to flag the actor’s panic attacks.
“He would just stand backstage before he went on with his eyes shut, breathing in and out,“
“Eating, ingesting, smoking, for John, it was a way of swallowing that anxiety.”
He was a likeable character and his choice of role reflected that. Viewers will always be able to look back on a man who made them laugh right from his early days with the SCTV Network to some of his most memorable films such as ‘Splash’, ‘The Great Outdoors’ and the excellent ‘Uncle Buck’.