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‘Spaceballs, Stripes and Uncle Buck': Canadians recall John Candy's standout performances 30 years after his passing

John Candy's 30th death anniversary took Canadians down the memory lane as they shared their best memories of the late actor that defined their childhoods

John Candy appears at the Academy Awards in April, 1988. It seems the Canadian Screen Awards has a new nickname: the Candy.Show host Norm Macdonald suggested it during his monologue at Sunday's bash as a tribute to late comic John Candy - and many presenters and winners embraced it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

Canadians are paying homage to late comedian and actor John Candy on his 30th death anniversary by sharing their favourite moments of the star from his works like Uncle Buck, Put Down The Duckie, Cool Runnings and Home Alone, while recalling how he made their childhoods “exponentially better.”

The Canada native, who succumbed to cardiac arrest on March 4, 1994, was equally cherished and remembered by friends, family and former colleagues like Catherine O’Hara in their tributes shared online, marking three decades since his passing.

The actor’s fans took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share his credible work and learn more about the performances that stood out for his other followers.

“What's your favorite memory of him or your favorite character that John Candy played?” inquired a social media user.

“This may be controversial but Top 3 for me are definitely Spaceballs, Stripes, & planes trains automobiles. Splash at #4,” replied another.

Meanwhile, there were others who felt sharing a tribute on X doesn’t do enough justice to Candy’s legacy because they’d need more words to effectively dignify his work.

“The only way to list every single brilliant movie and SCTV sketch John Candy was in is if Twitter allows 1,000 characters. So, I'll just say this. He made good movies great and great movies classic. And he is still missed,” noted SiriusXM Host Eric Alper.

“30 years ago yesterday we lost a 🇨🇦 comic genius. so fun to meet John backstage after my UCLA concert in 1984. we even did a bit of his Schmenge shtick! in 1994 I wrote and recorded a “Schmenge Polka” in tribute (Bananaphone album). #JohnCandy,” remembered Raffi Cavoukian.

Family and friends share touching tributes honouring Candy’s memory

John Candy’s daughter, Jennifer Candy-Sullivan, and son Chris Candy shared heartfelt messages in the memory of their late father on Instagram with their followers joining in remembering the time of their lives when the comedian was around.

His daughter posted a throwback picture of herself and brother, Chris, posing with father John Candy outdoors, while the late actor’s son shared a nostalgic snapshot of John smiling at the camera.

“30 years ago today … feels like both a lifetime with and without you . Miss you and love you always ❤️ #johncandy,” @therealjencandy wrote in the caption.

“All my love to my father today. #johncandy,” posted Chris Candy.

Candy’s two children were joined by their friends and followers in celebrating the life of the Uncle Buck star and sharing the moments of joy he left them with.

“I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news. Your dad is so missed and revered by so so many. Hugs to you today!,” replied an Instagram user.

“Simply the best! My son goes to Neil McNeil high school and it’s so great to see your dad all around the school,” read a reply to his daughter’s emotional post.

“My heart is so full of love and admiration for your Dad. Thinking of you and your sister today Chris. He is undeniably proud of you. ❤” shared another.

Candy was also remembered by Catherine O’Hara, his Home Alone co-star, who recalled the late comedian for his timing and humour, saying “he was just as lovely as you’d want him to be.

“You’d be on the street with him, in a mall, and somebody would come up and just want to do a comedy bit with him, and he would always pick up on it right away and give something back and see their eyes light up, like, ‘Oh, I’m doing a bit with John Candy,’” she told People.

While it’s been more than three decades since John Candy was last on a set, the Candy family is working to bring back the magic once again through a documentary about his comedic genius involving fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds and American actor Colin Hanks.