August 7, 2009

"John told me about why he left Hollywood just a few years earlier. He was terrified of the impact it was having on his sons..."

"... he was scared it was going to cause them to lose perspective on what was important and what happiness meant. And he told me a sad story about how, a big reason behind his decision to give it all up was that 'they' (Hollywood) had 'killed' his friend, John Candy, by greedily working him too hard."

Alison Byrne Fields was a high school student when she started writing to John Hughes. We were talking about Hughes's death, and Reader_Iam pointed us to Fields's blog post.


Automatic_Wing said...

I'd say it was a combination of greedy Hollywood and double cheeseburgers that Killed John Candy, but mostly the double cheeseburgers.

Sixty Grit said...

Yeah, Hollywood killed John Candy. Being morbidly obese and a chain smoker and having a family history of sudden death from MI had nothing to do with his heart attack.

John Hughes and John Candy were both born in 1950. Now they are both gone. Heart disease is serious business.

ricpic said...

Just before I went on my current diet I went into a bar advertising the best burger in Cody, Wyoming, and ordered it with a side of onion rings and a Sam Adams ale. Fantastically good but an enormous amount of uberfilling fat filled food that I could have lived on for two days, at least. My point? I forget. Man was that meal good.

reader_iam said...

Did you know John Hughes was married to the same wife for 39 years (and he married at 20)? It's sorta sad that I consider that a kind of achievement for his generation, but there it is. Solid family guy, it seems, and with four grandchildren. How sad for them to lose him so soon.

KCFleming said...

The pen pal letters are rather poignant, especially now.

The stress of work can be a big factor in a heart attack. In Japan, it's called "karoshi," (death from overwork).

But sometimes the bell tolls for thee, even when desperately trying to avoid being within earshot.

Greg Toombs said...

It's not hard for me to imagine a place like Hollywood contributing to someone's death.

I suspect there's an element there willing to enable the worst in people. I wonder if I could stand the temptations offered to, say, Michael Jackson, or John Candy by people in their orbit.

Yes, they are more responsible for their fate but, still..

Cheers for John Hughes' recognition and evasive action.

Bissage said...

From the Linked Blog: [John Hughes] told me, again, how important my letters had been to him all those years ago, how he often used the argument "I'm doing this for Alison" to justify decisions in meetings.

[In a meeting with Kramer, Jerry justifies his decision to produce bootleg video tapes.]

JERRY: I don't care about Brody. I was up on 96th Street today. There was a kid couldn't have been more than ten years old. He was asking a street vendor if he had any other bootlegs as good as “Death Blow.”

That's who I care about. The little kid who needs bootlegs, because his parent or guardian won't let him see the excessive violence and strong sexual content you and I take for granted.

-- from “The Little Kicks” episode of “Seinfeld”

Joe said...

John Candy wasn't a slave and could have walked away, however I know what Hughs was saying--like any insular group, "Hollywood" creates a social structure that is hard to see beyond. To leave "Hollywood" is to walk away from an entire lifestyle and social environment--that type of thing is really hard for most people regardless of the type of social circle it is, especially as you hit middle-age.

(I put Hollywood in quotes since I'm not just talking about the Los Angeles movie scene or even the industry as a whole--there are many fine people working in it--but of a subsection of that industry, which is dominated by studio executives, producers, agents and stars.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, c'mon on the John Candy thing. We don't know exactly what he said about it. There may have been a specific story, and she just summarized it that way.

Alex said...

I agree with Maguro. Double cheese with large fries is what killed John Candy, not Hollyweird.

Bissage said...

“John Candy Just Wanted Some Love.”

That’s a song title.

I invented it.

But anyone is welcome to take it.

Go ahead.

It’s free.

J Lee said...

IIRC, when Candy died there was a sidebar story about how his attempts at dieting, followed by regaining the weight, didn't help since studies indicated that yo-yo dieting make you more susceptible to heart attacks.

veni vidi vici said...

Candy('s) Ass.

That's what killed him.