Flashback: John C. McGinley Remembers the Passing of John Candy on Mar. 4, 1994

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CHICAGO – It was 25 years ago today – March 4th, 1994 – that comic actor John Candy died on the set of the film “Wagons East.” It was his 45th feature film, that extended back 21 years. One of his co-stars was John C. McGinley, best known as the irascible Perry Cox on the sitcom “Scrubs.” In a HollywoodChicago.com exclusive soundbite below, McGinley describes the atmosphere on the fateful day the cast was told of Candy’s passing.

John Candy was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. After college he had a bug for performing, and eventually ended up in Toronto with the Canadian branch of “The Second City,” which included fellow performers Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. Radner and Aykroyd went to “Saturday Night Live,” and Candy, O’Hara, Levy, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Harold Ramis and Dave Thomas went on to form the hilarious “SCTV,” which gained cult status in the late 1970s and early ‘80s (later adding Rick Moranis and Martin Short, among others). This group of performers, combined with SNL, developed comedy films that became classics. John Candy was a part of this evolution and more, featured in “The Blues Brothers,” “Stripes,” “Splash,” “Spaceballs” and “Planes Trains and Automobiles.”

John C. McGinley (right) in a Scene with John Candy (inset) in ‘Wagons East’
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

By the time “Wagons East” was being filmed in 1994, Candy’s last couple of films (“Cool Runnings,” “Delirious”) had been a mixed bag. He was also struggling with health issues as a heavy smoker with weight issues. His death occurred near the end of the shoot for “Wagons East,” on location in Durango, Mexico. His body was discovered after midnight on March 4th. He was 43 years old.

John C. McGinley is a memorable character actor. Besides his unforgettable role on “Scrubs,” he also had appeared in films like “Platoon,” “Wall Street,” “Point Break” and “A Midnight Clear” before joining Candy on “Wagons East.” He recently had a role in the Jackie Robinson biography film “42,” and has a recurring role on the NBC series “Chicago P.D.”

In the following exclusive soundbite from 2013, in an interview with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, John C. McGinley relates his memory of John Candy’s passing, from the set of “Wagons East” on March 4th, 1994.

The source for this article was Wikipedia.com. “Wagons East” is available on Blu-Ray/DVD or digital download. See providers for details. John Candy, 1950-1994.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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