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  #1  
Old 11-23-2004, 04:02 AM
Freejooky Freejooky is offline
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Why did John Candy die so young?

I was reading up on IMDB, and I saw that John Candy was only 44 when he died of a heart attack. I know that celebrities have access to personal physicians and extraordinary health care, so it seems that he died at a very young age. I know he was overweight - but look at John Goodman! That guy's looked like a walking heart attack for years, and he's already ten yeras older than Candy was when he died.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2004, 04:11 AM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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I don't know if Candy had more of a genetic presdisposition for heart disease, but I seem to remember that he smoked, for one thing. I don't know of any history with drugs, though I wouldn't doubt it (I became cynical about it all when John Belushi died, and Joan Rivers wouldn't).

About all I remember from the actual event was that he was in Mexico(?), filimg Wagon's East, which falls FAR short as a tribute to his abilities. Try Uncle Buck, which was always my favorite of his films.
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Old 11-23-2004, 04:31 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Originally Posted by Superdude
About all I remember from the actual event was that he was in Mexico(?), filimg Wagon's East, which falls FAR short as a tribute to his abilities.
Yes, far better we should use his second-to-last film (Canadian Bacon) as a guide.

His imdb bio says Candy's father died of a heart attack at age 35, which certainly suggests a genetic predisposition.
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  #4  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:27 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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There's not always a "why" to these things. Shit happens.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven
There's not always a "why" to these things. Shit happens.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2004, 08:29 AM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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Basically, he died of too much Candy.


Big guy. Unhealthy life style. They're not joking when they say "eat less and exercise more."
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2004, 11:27 AM
well he's back well he's back is offline
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don't care why - still makes me sad. what a waste.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2004, 11:36 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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From an article written at the time of his death, his father died of a heart attack at 35 (as mentioned above), his grandfather at 42, and several of his uncles and other male relatives in or before their forties of heart related problems. (As somebody who is overweight and a smoker I still have to say he was a fool to add smoking and unhealthy diet to his already considerable risks.)

Something not commonly known about Candy: he was a financial genius of sorts who was an excellent steward of his considerable income. While he never had a Tom Cruise/Jim Carrey like payday, he left an estate worth well over $25 million due to investments in Canadian real estate, computer stocks, etc. He was also supposedly one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, which just extends the pity of his early death.

Fat actors who evidently had no genetic disposition to severe heart disease: Brando (who was rarely under 300 lbs for most of the last 20 years, had an incredibly stressful personal life, smoked and used recreational drugs and still lived to be 80), tea merchant turned Casablanca star Sydney Greenstreet who made it to 75 long before modern diabetes treatment would have extended his life, and this fellow who looked like a walking coronary as General Burkhalter on Hogan's Heroes 35 years ago and is still alive and acting (and a relative newlywed) at 97.
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2004, 11:36 AM
Rube E. Tewesday Rube E. Tewesday is offline
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I remember seeing him on a talk show in the mid-80s. He'd just lost a lot of weight, said he was feeling great, and IIRC said he was going to stay trimmed down even if it meant losing a lot of money not getting fat guy parts. By the time he died, if looked like he'd gained back every pound, and then some. A very common occurrence, of course, but it still makes me sad.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2004, 12:59 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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As a fitting sidenote -- one of the best John Candy movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, is being released on DVD this week. "Those aren't pillows!!"
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2004, 01:32 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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I'm just guessing, but I figure the chances are good that Candy had a significant lipid disorder, especially given his family history. I've seen plenty of people who are not obese, eat relatively healthily, exercise regularly, and still have LDL cholesterol levels up at and over 200, with HDL levels under 25. It's a condition that primes people for coronary artery disease at a young age, and it's just the way their body deals with cholesterol.

Now take that picture, add a bad diet and obesity and smoking to it, and the risks double or triple.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2004, 02:11 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
I'm just guessing, but I figure the chances are good that Candy had a significant lipid disorder, especially given his family history. I've seen plenty of people who are not obese, eat relatively healthily, exercise regularly, and still have LDL cholesterol levels up at and over 200, with HDL levels under 25. It's a condition that primes people for coronary artery disease at a young age, and it's just the way their body deals with cholesterol.

Now take that picture, add a bad diet and obesity and smoking to it, and the risks double or triple.
makes note to keep taking zocor
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2004, 03:07 PM
Scissorjack Scissorjack is offline
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According to Joe Queenan, big fat guys who have been in movies with Dan Ackroyd have a habit of this earthly grossness quitting too soon: John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley - he's like the Typhoid Mary of bad comedy. If I were John Goodman, I'd be seeing the quack.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2004, 03:30 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
I've seen plenty of people who are not obese, eat relatively healthily, exercise regularly, and still have LDL cholesterol levels up at and over 200, with HDL levels under 25. It's a condition that primes people for coronary artery disease at a young age, and it's just the way their body deals with cholesterol.
My friends father died of a massive coronary at the age of 56 -- he outlived all the other men in his family. No matter how healthy the lifestyle, the men in his family tree all tended to die of heart disease in their 40s, so he had pretty much put himself under a doctor's watchful eye in his 30s. Non-smoker, ate very carefully, active lifestyle and doctor-designed fitness program. It probably gave him an extra ten years, but 56 is still pretty young.
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2004, 04:20 PM
jk1245 jk1245 is offline
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Nothing really to add, but I just looked Candy up on IMDB.

My God, has it really been over 10 years since he died?

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  #16  
Old 11-23-2004, 04:51 PM
vl_mungo vl_mungo is offline
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I have nothing to add as to the "why", but I would say that one of his best all time performances is in the (very hard to find) made for cable show... The Last Polka. It's a parody of The Last Waltz featuring the fabulous Shmenge Brothers.
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2004, 06:12 PM
rolandgunslinger rolandgunslinger is offline
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Originally Posted by Skammer
As a fitting sidenote -- one of the best John Candy movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, is being released on DVD this week. "Those aren't pillows!!"
How 'bout them bears?
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2016, 12:14 PM
sjankis630 sjankis630 is offline
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Posting to answer the original posters question all these years later. It is known that Mr Candy had family history of heart attack and he also smoked and was overweight. What I read in Joe Eszterhas' biography back in the day was just how much John drank and smoked.
Joe Eszterhas was for a time a seriously popular script writer and known drinker and drug taker but he met his match with John Candy in this paraphrase from his book (page 628) - "Hollywood Animal" detailing his meeting with John Candy when John Candy was negotiating the possibility of filming a script Eszterhas had written.
Essentially Eszterhas was going by John Candy's office and was surprised when he found out that John's office was an actual bar with tables, jukebox, barstools etc and John was conducting the meeting behind the bar the entire time.
Again Eszterhas was always bragging how messed up he was getting in Hollywood but he bowed down to the king on that day.
Candy chain-smoked the entire time - a cigarette was never out of his hands and at one time had 2 going and was smoking both at the same time.
Eszterhas had 5 beers while at Candy's "office" at the same time Candy drank 13 rum and cokes!
Later that night they went out to dinner and Candy had 8 ore rum and cokes!
Another friend of Candy's remembered doing publicity in Monte Carlo with Candy and when Candy didn't return to LA the next day as planned the friend eventually caught up with him via phone - still in Monte Carlo - still partying.
John Candy was a lovely man - said by everyone who ever met him - but it would appear he may have had some demons that he was trying to quell as well.
He is missed.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2016, 12:23 PM
Randolph Randolph is offline
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My God, has it really been over 10 years since he died?
Ayup.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2016, 12:26 PM
davidm davidm is offline
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I wonder if, given his family history, he just assumed that he was going to die young anyway so he might as well party and live it up while he could.

Last edited by davidm; 06-22-2016 at 12:26 PM..
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2016, 01:18 PM
bump bump is offline
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Ayup.
22 years at last count...

But yeah, sounds like something was definitely out of the normal tolerances with him, even considering his obesity and smoking. 44 is still ridiculously young even considering all that other stuff.

Last edited by bump; 06-22-2016 at 01:19 PM..
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2016, 01:32 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Since the initial thread I have all but given up hope Candy is ever going to get any better.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2016, 01:34 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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I wonder if, given his family history, he just assumed that he was going to die young anyway so he might as well party and live it up while he could.
It was certainly Mickey Mantle's philosophy. His male relatives had all died young (his father died of Hodgkins' Disease at age 40), and as he believed he was going to die young, he saw no reason to not drink like a fish. When he *didn't* die by 40 or 50, he was quoted as saying, "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken a lot better care of myself."
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  #24  
Old 06-22-2016, 03:28 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Since the initial thread I have all but given up hope Candy is ever going to get any better.
Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, on the other hand.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2016, 03:47 PM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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And The Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley is only mostly dead.
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2016, 04:03 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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On the other hand, Zombie John Candy is more than ready to eat your brains.
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  #27  
Old 06-22-2016, 07:26 PM
Alex from CB Alex from CB is offline
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Originally Posted by Eats_Crayons View Post
My friends father died of a massive coronary at the age of 56 -- he outlived all the other men in his family. No matter how healthy the lifestyle, the men in his family tree all tended to die of heart disease in their 40s, so he had pretty much put himself under a doctor's watchful eye in his 30s. Non-smoker, ate very carefully, active lifestyle and doctor-designed fitness program. It probably gave him an extra ten years, but 56 is still pretty young.

The term, he died of a.... MASSIVE.... heart attack always strikes me as odd.

Who quantifies fatal heart attacks? I mean.... "He died of a minor heart attack." or "He died of an average heart attack." How does one know the SIZE of a fatal heart attack? It seems like just knowing it's fatal tells you all you need to know about the......size.... of the attack. I'm guessing almost always, when someone keels over, stop breathing, turns blue and dies the death is listed as heart attack. (OK, I know today it's a cardiac event)

And if they cut the victim open and check, how is the heart attack evaluated and characterized as massive? Do they count the coronary arteries that are blocked? Does 3+ blockages = massive? Maybe if the aorta has pulled loose.

Help me here on.............massive.

Last edited by Alex from CB; 06-22-2016 at 07:28 PM..
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  #28  
Old 06-22-2016, 09:31 PM
Face Intentionally Left Blank Face Intentionally Left Blank is offline
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Originally Posted by Alex from CB View Post
The term, he died of a.... MASSIVE.... heart attack always strikes me as odd.

Who quantifies fatal heart attacks? I mean.... "He died of a minor heart attack." or "He died of an average heart attack." How does one know the SIZE of a fatal heart attack? It seems like just knowing it's fatal tells you all you need to know about the......size.... of the attack. I'm guessing almost always, when someone keels over, stop breathing, turns blue and dies the death is listed as heart attack. (OK, I know today it's a cardiac event)

And if they cut the victim open and check, how is the heart attack evaluated and characterized as massive? Do they count the coronary arteries that are blocked? Does 3+ blockages = massive? Maybe if the aorta has pulled loose.

Help me here on.............massive.
Does a MASSIVE heart attack have it's own zip code? A moon? Does it have its OWN heart, which, in turn, is ALSO having a MASSIVE attack? Does it have TRUMP written across it in YUUUUGE letters?

I thank you for bringing attention to one of the pressing problems of the day, and seeking an answer to something I also have long wondered about.

If I die of a heart attack, I DO want it to be of the MASSIVE variety. I don't want folks gathered around my casket saying, "No, no, it was quite a small one, really. It seems he just didn't have any fight in him."

Last edited by Face Intentionally Left Blank; 06-22-2016 at 09:32 PM..
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  #29  
Old 06-22-2016, 09:55 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Smoking can't be underestimated for people with a history of heart disease. I know a guy who was a four-pack a day smoker who started when he was like 12, which would have been in the 50s, and come the 80s, was tired of it, but hooked. He tried everything: SmokEnders, Hypnotism, taking a week off work at a spa to go cold turkey, really, switching brands to quit-- literally every possible solution up until then. Then in the 90s he hit the age (IIRC, something like 54 when his father, also a smoker, died of a massive heart attack), and he became desperate. At that point, I really thought there were some people who couldn't quit. But the patch had just come out, and it was still Rx only. He didn't have insurance, but he got it, and paid for it. He wore patches for six months to get off the nicotine, and for a full two years was never without sugarless gum or mints to satisfy his oral fix (he used to literally light one off the end of another).

But he quit. It's now been like 25 years since he quit, and he is somewhere around 70. I truly believe he added about 20 years to his life (and counting) by quitting. Most important to him, he outlived his beloved mother. Even though he was grief-stricken when he lost her, he had some small comfort in the fact that it would have been infinitely worse for her to have outlived him. And, she lived into her 90s, which is a good, long life.

RE: John Candy. Sometimes his straight acting doesn't get enough credit. He was wonderful in Cool Runnings, and even more to his credit, he didn't have to be the main focus of the movie. Even though he was the BIG NAME in it, he knew when to step back and give other actors their moment. It was an ensemble movie, and one of my all-time favorites.
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  #30  
Old 06-23-2016, 09:11 AM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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The featured ad on this thread, for those of you with ad blocker, is for Jimmy Dean's Pancake and Sausage on a Stick.

I shit you not!
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  #31  
Old 06-23-2016, 09:27 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Originally Posted by Alex from CB View Post
The term, he died of a.... MASSIVE.... heart attack always strikes me as odd.

Who quantifies fatal heart attacks? I mean.... "He died of a minor heart attack." or "He died of an average heart attack." How does one know the SIZE of a fatal heart attack? It seems like just knowing it's fatal tells you all you need to know about the......size.... of the attack. I'm guessing almost always, when someone keels over, stop breathing, turns blue and dies the death is listed as heart attack. (OK, I know today it's a cardiac event)

And if they cut the victim open and check, how is the heart attack evaluated and characterized as massive? Do they count the coronary arteries that are blocked? Does 3+ blockages = massive? Maybe if the aorta has pulled loose.

Help me here on.............massive.
From Wikipedia:

Quote:
A massive heart attack affects a large portion of the heart muscle, or causes a large amount of heart damage. This can happen if the blockage in a coronary artery occurs in a large artery that supplies a large portion of the heart; completely blocks blood flow to the heart; or lasts for a long period of time.

Last edited by aldiboronti; 06-23-2016 at 09:27 AM..
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  #32  
Old 06-23-2016, 09:40 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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As a fitting sidenote -- one of the best John Candy movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, is being released on DVD this week. "Those aren't pillows!!"
I told someone 20 years older than me "I'm not a Chatty Cathy! I don't pull my own string!" And she looked at me with amazement and said "You're not old enough for that doll, are you?" I confessed it was from this movie I learned the reference.

I miss him a lot. He was a great actor.
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  #33  
Old 06-23-2016, 11:42 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Originally Posted by Freejooky View Post
I know he was overweight - but look at John Goodman! That guy's looked like a walking heart attack for years, and he's already ten yeras older than Candy was when he died.
Goodman has had massive weight loss, at least 100 pounds, since that time. Maybe more than once, which is the norm. More importantly, there are no indications he's trying to drink himself to death.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:48 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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The featured ad on this thread, for those of you with ad blocker, is for Jimmy Dean's Pancake and Sausage on a Stick.

I shit you not!
Jimmy Dean's Pure Pork Sausage ... mmmmmmmmmmmmm!
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  #35  
Old 06-23-2016, 11:49 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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I told someone 20 years older than me "I'm not a Chatty Cathy! I don't pull my own string!" And she looked at me with amazement and said "You're not old enough for that doll, are you?" I confessed it was from this movie I learned the reference.
The power of cinema!
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  #36  
Old 06-23-2016, 05:34 PM
TPWombat TPWombat is offline
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Love his work.
I wanted to add the trivia that according to the commentary on Splash!, he was genuinely hungover in the racquetball (in the UK we call that "squash") scene with Tom Hanks. Also, when he hits the ball and it comes back and smacks him in the head - brilliant shot! - it was a complete fluke, but he was such a consummate performer he just went with it.
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  #37  
Old 06-24-2016, 05:13 PM
Atomic Mama Atomic Mama is offline
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As a fitting sidenote -- one of the best John Candy movies, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, is being released on DVD this week. "Those aren't pillows!!"
I adore this film. The footage on the El stop always gets to me.

(From an ex-pat Chicagoan who would move back but current spouse just can't handle "cities.")
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  #38  
Old 06-24-2016, 05:57 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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This is a zombie thread, and like others have said Candy had a family history. I don't know if I"m confusing Candy with Jim Fix, but I thought Candy also had uncles and grandfathers who died of heart disease in their 30s or 40s. So it wasn't just his father who passed away young from it.

Candy's obesity, smoking, heavy drinking and who knows what other lifestyle factors he had (high stress, poor sleep, undiagnosed sleep apnea?) didn't help. However in general people do not die in their 30s or 40s from poor lifestyle unless they are genetically prone. Poor lifestyle doesn't start killing people en masse until your late 60s.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 06-24-2016 at 05:57 PM..
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  #39  
Old 06-25-2016, 11:26 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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From an article written at the time of his death, his father died of a heart attack at 35 (as mentioned above), his grandfather at 42, and several of his uncles and other male relatives in or before their forties of heart related problems. (As somebody who is overweight and a smoker I still have to say he was a fool to add smoking and unhealthy diet to his already considerable risks.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I'm just guessing, but I figure the chances are good that Candy had a significant lipid disorder, especially given his family history. I've seen plenty of people who are not obese, eat relatively healthily, exercise regularly, and still have LDL cholesterol levels up at and over 200, with HDL levels under 25. It's a condition that primes people for coronary artery disease at a young age, and it's just the way their body deals with cholesterol.

Now take that picture, add a bad diet and obesity and smoking to it, and the risks double or triple.
Yeah. My mother's side of the family is like that, people are who are NOT overweight dropping dead from heart disease in the 40's, if you add any risk factors on top of that you can die younger. Affected women as much as the men, linked to a single bad gene. Without statins mom's cholesterol levels were in excess of 500 and she started having angina pains in her 30's despite never being overweight and was actually underweight for significant periods of her life. Could only imagine how much worse it might have been if she had been obese.

Very glad I didn't inherit that one.
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