Born October 31st, 1950 and laid to rest May 4th, 1994
John was not only a brilliant comedian, he was a warm and wonderful human being. I had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions. Everyone in his vacinity was important to him. SCTV brought John to the world’s attention and I was fortunate enough to be a witness. As a performer I had the opportunity to become a regular on the set during the filming of SCTV, appearing as an ongoing Extra. The entire cast was brilliant and no one could have foreseen or believe just how successful it would become. Here we have a Television Show with an opening showing television sets being thrown out of windows. As usual I have copied some biographical material and some wonderful videos of the SVTV Series. John? Thanks this has been fun! ©J.E.Goldie or to you John, just Jen xo
John Candy, actor (b at Toronto, Ont 31 Oct 1950; d at Durango, Mexico 4 Mar 1994), a gifted screen comedian who got his start doing stage work and acting in commercials and low-budget Canadian films in Toronto before moving to Chicago to join the Second City improvisational troupe in 1972. Soon afterwards he returned to Canada to take his place as a regular in Toronto’s Second City company, eventually becoming one of the key players on its spin-off television show, “SCTV.” There he created and played regular characters Johnny LaRue, Doctor Tongue and, along with fellow castmember Eugene Levy, one half of the accordion-playing Schmenge brothers.
Roles in major films soon followed, with the rotund Candy often cast as a lovable slob or loser with a heart of gold, as in Splash(1984). His later films as a supporting player included Spaceballs, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (both 1987) and Home Alone (1990). As his popularity grew, he was increasingly cast in the lead in films such as Uncle Buck (1989), Only the Lonely (1991) and Cool Runnings (1993). In spite of living in Los Angeles, Candy was known for his profound attachment to Canada, which at one point manifested itself with his acquisition of the Toronto Argonauts football team in 1991, along with partners Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall. In 1992 Candy cancelled his appearance as host of the Genie Awards after the CBC promoted the show with a campaign that joked about his size. He died of a heart attack while shooting a film in Mexico in 1994. -The Canadian Encyclopedia-
During the 1970s, John Candy appeared in a number of television and big screen projects including ‘Dr. Zonk and the Zunkins’, ’90 Minutes Live’, ‘Coming Up Rosie’, ‘Second City TV’, ‘Tunnel Vision’, ‘The Clown Murders’, ‘The Silent Partner’ and ‘Lost and Found’. After this, in the 1980s, he was associated with the TV projects ‘Big City Comedy’, ‘SCTV Network 90’, ‘The New Show’, ‘The Canadian Conspiracy’, ‘The Last Polka’ and ‘Camp Candy’.
During this time, the actor also got featured in many films, such as ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘It Came from Hollywood’, ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, ‘Splash’, ‘Summer Rental’, ‘Armed and Dangerous’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and ‘Uncle Buck’, to name a few. Then in the year 1990, Candy appeared in an episode of ‘The Dave Thomas Comedy Show’ and also acted in the movies ‘Masters of Menace’ and ‘Home Alone’.
In 1991, he was cast in the films ‘Nothing But Trouble’, ‘Career Opportunities’, ‘Only the Lonely’, ‘Delirious’ and ‘JFK’. Soon after this, the Canadian artiste made his appearances in the movies ‘Once Upon a Crime’, ‘Boris and Natasha: The Movie’, ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Cool Runnings’. In 1994, he did the TV flick ‘Hostage for a Day’. That year, his movie ‘Wagons East!’ was also released posthumously. -Famous People-
Cya John. 😊❤😂❤
Thanks for the Memories………
Born July 22, 1945 in Regina and laid to rest September 28, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario.
Written by MARTIN MORROW SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2, 2015 and UPDATED MAY 15, 2018
Michael Burgess made you feel proud. Whether he was singing the national anthem, stirringly, for a Toronto Maple Leafs game or leading an exceptional cast as a mighty Jean Valjean in the landmark all-Canadian production of Les Misérables, Mr. Burgess knew how to pluck the national heartstrings. He was the world-class singer who chose to remain in Canada; the exquisite theatre artist whose biggest thrill was playing old timers’ hockey with the NHL greats.
Mr. Burgess was also a man with a big heart to match his big voice, whose acts of generosity were legion. He continually lent his golden tenor and magnetic presence to charitable causes and was always there for his friends. Their appreciation was reflected in the huge outpouring of love and affection that swiftly followed the news of his death at the age of 70 on Sept. 28. Everyone from theatre impresario David Mirvish to hockey legend Bobby Orr expressed their sorrow via both traditional and social media. “Today, we have lost a great Canadian,” Mr. Orr said in a statement – a sentiment few would dispute.
Mr. Burgess, known as Wally to his family, was born Walter Roy Burgess in Regina, on July 22, 1945. A Roman Catholic, his confirmation saint’s name was Michael and he later adopted it as his professional name. He was the oldest child of William (Bill) Burgess and Dorothy (Dolly) Burgess (née Aldercotte), who would go on to provide him with six brothers and sisters.
Bill Burgess, an aspiring lawyer, moved the family to Toronto in 1946. Growing up in suburban Etobicoke, Wally began to embrace two of his lifelong passions at an early age. “He was an excellent hockey player,” his brother Wayne recalled. “Every winter, between the ages of eight and 13, we created a hockey rink in our backyard and broke many a basement window with our unerringly accurate slap shots.”
His true gift, however, began to emerge when he and Wayne were enrolled at St. Michael’s Choir School. By the time he was a teenager, Wally Burgess was singing on CBC Television’s Cross-Canada Hit Parade and Holiday Ranch as well as on the radio.
After briefly considering the priesthood and a career in law, he studied acting at the University of Ottawa, inevitably playing the lead roles in student and amateur productions
As his career progressed, Mr. Burgess began to shift away from musical theatre and into opera. It wasn’t until the end of the 1980s that he found the perfect role that melded both art forms. When he landed the part of Jean Valjean in the first Canadian production of the London-New York hit Les Misérables, which opened in March, 1989, at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, he helped prove that his country had talent every bit as extraordinary as what could be found on West End and Broadway stages. And while Les Mis was an ensemble show with no official “stars,” Mr. Burgess’s performance soon became one of its major attractions.
While there was nobody like Mr. Burgess for making hearts swell at the singing of O Canada, his signature song remained the tear-inducing Bring Him Home from Les Mis. It’s the hero Jean Valjean’s aching plea to God to take him in exchange for sparing the life of the young man whom he considers a son. Perhaps the power of Mr. Burgess’s rendition rests in the way that prayer seemed to come from his own heart, reflecting his own selfless nature.
Bring him home
After what is seemed like hours going over a “So called menu” George looked pleadingly at Jan. “OK George”, she offered willingly, “You do have choices. We vegan’s, aren’t insensitive to meat eaters, you know,” she quipped. “Do I detect a teensy bit of sarcasm?” he mumbled. “Now come now George!” Paul interjected. “Here look! This one, features a sun-dried tomato walnut “meat”, shredded kale, salsa, spiced tomato rice, green onions, black beans, and humus. Divine!” George cringed at the very thought of walnut meat. “I’ll have a large salad I think, Paul. That’ll do the trick for me, but thanks.” “For you madame number 2? ” Yes thankyou” smiled Jan. The waiter turned his attention to Paul. “Sir?” “I’ll have what she’s having.” He gestured to Jan. “But hold the nuts.” He instructed. “Very nice” the waiter agreed.
“Well!” Jan sighed, “Here we are.”
“George darling! There you are. What does a girl have to do to pin you down?” came a familiarly, sweet voice behind him. “Pam! Hi! Where’d you come from?” he faltered, “I meant to say, long time no see.” He panicked, as he glanced at the smirk on Jan’s face. “Yes! Too long I’d say. It’s so good to see you after so many years. Still as handsome as ever.” she glowed. Jan began to giggle, and quickly covered up behind her napkin. Paul was in awe. What’s this guy got that I don’t, he thought. Paul stood up and quickly introduced himself extending his hand. Hi, I’m Paul, he offered. “So, George do you have plans for this evening?” she smiled sweetly turning from Paul. “I’m going to a Murder Mystery tonight at The Bartlett. Should be so much fun!” she said exuberantly. I’m sure they can find room for one more!” she offered. “Well”, George reluctantly added, “we’re just having a light bite.” GEORGE! Light bite? He regretted. Been hanging around with Paul too long. “Well no! I mean yes, I mean, all of us are going tonight,” he stumbled. Jan could hardly contain herself. “Well then, I guess I’ll see you all later then. I’m on my way to get my costume.” Costume? We need a costume? George suddenly felt sick. “Sure, yes, we’ll see you later then,” he offered quickly.
“I didn’t even think to read the rest of this paper. Must be more instructions.” As the waiter was attempting to serve the table, George was excitedly trying to read the yellow sheet. “George?” Jan said quietly, while lightly removing the sheet from his now trembling hands. “Relax, we have time. Eat your salad, slowly, and then we’ll figure things out.” “I agree with Jan” Paul said skeptically as he flipped his napkin, placed it in his lap and began to eat. Costume? George murmured to himself. Costume? I don’t want to wear a costume, he whined to himself. Jan gave him a motherly look and picked up her fork. He obeyed.
The salad wasn’t half bad George pondered, but he hoped upon hope there would be real food at this event. “Totally enjoyable!” Paul chirped. “I’d recommend this establishment to anyone!” Jan nodded and smiled. “So!” George added, “we now have about 3 hours to gather our thoughts and get ready.” For who knows what, he thought to himself. “Well let’s take a read!” Paul commanded and added “Over coffee and a little dessert?” he inquired. George looked at Jan painfully. She winced and nodded. “Why not.” He grumbled. “Waiter!”
“So!” George took the lead, “Papers out!” Willingly, his loyal troops laid their instructions on the table. “Role Call” Mr. Primrose commanded. “Miss Partridge?” “Here, Pears and all!” Jan said laughing. “Monsieur Richard?” “Je suis Ici!” Paul stood abruptly almost taking the table-cloth with him. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Paul apologized Now what George muttered. “Let’s take a look.” “More coffee?” The waiter offered. “Yes please.” said George. “I think we’re going to need it.” He peered over at Jan pleadingly, “Why don’t you start Jan? You’re the actor around here.” “I’m not sure what you mean by that George.” she got defensive. “I meant that you studied the Theatre and would be the best one to help us.” GEORGE! You blunderer! Now look what you’ve done! “Jan, we need your help.” He said with his best forgive me eyes. Jan melted. “OK guys!” as she now assembled HER troops like a General. “Each of us will take turns reading our character descriptions, out loud, and we’ll go from there.” George looked at Paul, Paul looked back at George, then they both nodded sheepishly at Jan. “Yes Ma’am.” They helplessly whispered. Thankyou God George mused, we might just enjoy this. We will certainly enjoy this. He melted into Jan’s eyes. “Waiter!”, he commanded. “More coffee!”
Mary Treadwell: “Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me, whether or not, I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether, I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.” Ship of Fools
George couldn’t help thinking about those “Bad times,” Jan had fleetingly referred to. Everyone goes through “Bad Times”. His mind started to work overtime. Just how bad and bad how? Now he was starting to sound like a jealous lover he thought. I hope this guy’s got better things to do, he projected.
“Jan, I just happened to be in town collecting some antiques for our new season and heard you were here. How lucky is that!” Paul said exuberantly. Yah, how very lucky, George grumbled to himself. Jan smiled and had to agree. “So! George! Are you planning to stick around? I thought I’d take Jan off your hands to see the town. Don’t get to these little places very often.” Little places my Ass, George thought. Some sort of big time Jerk. “Um” George stumbled. Quick George think! “Well Jan and I have plans for Dinner.” He smartly quipped. “Good! I’ve heard there’s a great little Vegan restaurant not far from here! I’ll join you. On me!” he pumped. George was now in panic mode. “Why don’t we finish our lunch?” he smartly suggested. “Will you have a something?” “I’ve had my lunch.” Stated Paul, “One lunch per day will suffice, but Thanks.” George was at a loss for words. “Look! I’ll let you guys finish up with your school business, however important that could be, and meet up with you later. Say three o’clock?” he questioned. “Fine!” George said happily. Better qualify that George thought. “Too bad you can’t stay.” He quickly added, trying to be sincere. “Well Jan my dear, I guess later it is! Be back at 3 on the nose!” he added. He’s currently got one damn lucky nose right now, George imagined. One DAMN lucky nose. “
This, time Paul swung OUT, of the room hailing good-bye to the crowd. George waved a happy anon.
Jan had been sitting there watching George’s futile attempts to put Paul off. “George, come sit by me.” She patted the couch next to her. The animal in him obeyed happily. No whimpering! George! NO WHIMPERING! as he sat close. “George.”, she reassuringly said, “Paul is just a dear old friend. As simple as that.” she put. “It was frankly nice to see him after all these years. He’s harmless.” George considered this for a moment but quickly concluded HARMLESS as my great aunt’s cat! “Oh, I understand Jan, just a good friend from way back.” He smiled, as thou he understood. “It’s time!” cried Carl. “Let’s not let our fearless leader wait! Off to the foyer! Shall we.” What now he thought.
As the group gathered slowly everyone was curious. Murmurs here and there and some pretty sarcastic remarks were dismissed. “Settle down please! Settle down.” Demanded our fearless leader. Just then everyone gasped at the sight of a mystery guest striding towards them. Who could this be? Jan looked at George and George shrugged. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Please settle down.” The man was tall and lanky, all dressed in black. He had a monkey on his back. His face was painted with black and white stripes. “A rather unusual man” whispered George to Jan. “Unusual is putting it mildly” added Jan as she grasped his hand. I kind of like this guy, mused George, as he tightened his grip.
“OK, here’s the happy surprise!” This fine gentleman will be our host for this evening’s proceedings. “We are having a Murder Mystery Night tonight! The room gasped. I expect all of you to participate. No excuses allowed. We will be passing out your character descriptions and a general scenario for the evening. We will begin at precisely 7 p.m., at which time a formal dinner will be served on the auditorium stage. Any questions?” He acted like he was merely announcing an upcoming recess, George pondered. “What should I wear?” A despondent Jerry cried from the back. “How long will this thing last?” from another. Carl almost fainted he looked so white. Questions flew! Suddenly the Monkey got excited and started screeching. Jan’s grip got tighter as she slid closer to him. George’s mind then started to wander but quickly came to, when the man in black threw up his massive arms and waved his cape into the air. Silence suddenly prevailed. “Well! If you’ll all now return to your classes, we can get on with our day. Your instructions will be disbursed accordingly. Should you need any assistance please proceed to the office.” Slowly the group disbursed. Jan’s hand slipped back to her side, as she calmed. George secretly stretched his fingers trying to get the circulation back. “What now?” Jan whispered, with a twinkle in her eyes. George shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, “Just another day, but a whole lot better than the last.” “Shall we?”
“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.” Leonard Cohen
The storm let up as fast as it began. “Thanks George,” Carl muttered. “Carl!”, George offered kindly, “It never rains but it pours. Now the sun’s out doing it’s best to shine!” Oh God, he thought, that’s pushing it. I must be losing my edge. “So, Jan? How’re you making out?” He’d never said anything so damn suggestive in his life. “I mean are you ok? Do you want to freshen up at your hotel?” “No, she offered, I’m just a little damp thanks. I’ll be fine.” “OK! Then let’s get back. I’d say it’s almost lunch time! I’m famished.” “Uh Oh! I gotta run. I’m on the lunch committee!” spouted Carl, as he trundled off as fast as his new shoes could carry him. What a guy! Mused George. “Didn’t know they were offering a free lunch. Should we partake Madame?” George almost wanted to take his life. Partake? I’m losing it, he sighed. Jan yet again smiled sweetly and offered her arm. “What Ho! Here we go!”, he almost died.
“George! and Jan!” what a lovely couple. I swear Stephen had a bad case of hoof and mouth disease. He just never stopped. “May I offer you both a lovely pate? I made it last night. It’s my very own recipe.” He glowed, “Its just divine!.” Just what the doctor ordered, George mused. A little strange mashed meat with a touch of who knows. “Don’t mind if I do!” George smiled as he lightly selected a cracker with a minimal of “Pate” on the top. “And you Madame?” as he pushed the plate almost to Jan’s poor face. “UH!” She politely stepped back. “I’m Vegan, but thanks so much, I’m sure it’s lovely.” “Well!” George interjected, “Let’s take a look.” They slid over the table full of goodies. “Jan, here’s what looks like a real nice salad. How’s about I make a plate for you. Dressing?” he offered. “Um no! No please George, just plain thanks.” She smiled sheepishly. “You on a diet?” George questioned. “No! You’re perfect!” At that George decided that silence was golden as he went about making himself a plate. Man cannot live on love alone, he thought. Geezzz, bread George! Bread.
“OK! Ladies and Gentlemen! We’ll have a lovely lunch, thanks to Carl and his crew.” spouted our illustrious leader. “At precisely one p.m. we’ll gather in the main foyer.” He then made a military about-face and left the room. Looking at his watch George determined they had 45 minutes. “Time flies when you’re having fun”, he murmured. “Pardon George?” “Oh, just looking at the time Jan. Just looking at the time. We have lots of time.” “Come George let’s sit.” She whispered as she motioned to the couch. “Here, let me refill your salad. Nice cup of tea?” “That would be nice. Just a little lemon please.” As Jan made her way to the couch George happily busied himself with her order.
“OH! MY GOD!” came from across the room. Everyone stopped and looked. George stood there stunned. Who could this be?
“Jan! My lovely! My adorably beautiful sweetheart!” as he swung across the room. “Where have you been? I’ve missed you so my darling!” If faces could drop George’s was on the floor. His heart sank. His shoulders dropped, his knees almost gave way and if God could have struck him with a bolt of lightning, he wouldn’t have felt a thing. He was numb. As the gushing continued, he could faintly see a glimmer of angst in Jan’s face. Hope he thought. “George!” Jan cried. “This is my good friend Paul from the Shaw.” All George could utter was “Oh”. “Come George, please sit down here next to me”, she motioned. For what seemed like hours George couldn’t move. FEET! George Feet! He reminded himself. NOW!
The next 20 minutes or so seemed like hours. They ate, drank and HE chatted. Seems Jan knew him well from The Shaw. They were great buddies. Jan filled him in. She’d understudied a few roles and had some bit parts. Paul had helped her out in bad times. “Oh Paul” she interrupted, “I really should introduce you to George.” Yes, she really should, he muttered. “Paul? This is George. We’ve been long-lost friends for years and hopefully for many more years to come.” “Hi George.” “Hi Paul” said George, as he gazed into Jan’s eyes. Many, many more years to come.
“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.” Leonard Cohen