John Candy’s children say their father’s legacy is “almost timeless,” as the late Canadian comedian became the first inductee at the East York Hall of Fame in Toronto on Friday.
The beloved comedy legend called the Ontario city home and his children say their dad never let his fame get to his head.
“That's how he was. This down-to-earth relatable guy that anyone could speak to and want to hear about your day,” Jennifer Candy told CTV National News anchor and W5 correspondent Sandie Rinaldo, saying he was always “happy to talk to anyone and everyone.”
Candy starred in films such as “Spaceballs,” “Cool Runnings” and “Summer Rental” and even showed up in the Christmas classic “Home Alone.”
But he made his start as one of the stars of Second City’s comedy club branch in Toronto and its related “Second City Television” series, which also made stars of Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis and Martin Short.
But before all of that, the legendary funnyman started out simply as a theatre usher. And those humble beginnings were something Candy never forgot.
“He took Canada with him, wherever he went,” his son Chris said. “He took his work ethic from SCTV and his humble upbringings here -- no hierarchy with him.”
Jennifer remembers fondly how much her father made her laugh at home saying, “he was silly and most all wanting to make us happy.” As for Chris, he smiles when he thinks of seeing his father star alongside comedy legend Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”
It’s been more than 25 years since the comedian passed away on March 4, 1994 from a presumed heart attack. But the loss is still felt in the comedy world and especially by his children.
But seeing their father’s career on display at the East York Hall of Fame is comforting to them.
“I'm going to go through all these moments and he won't be there … there's so much growth in loss,” Chris Candy said. “So it's like being a detective and we're just really fortunate that there are so many stories about him.”
Jennifer agrees and is thrilled to be in Toronto for the exhibit in Candy’s honour.
“It's nice to come back to Toronto and be in places like this where he worked and grew up,” she said. “His legacy is almost timeless and a good reminder to live every day to your fullest.”