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Chris Farley

From Academic Kids

Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964December 18, 1997) was an American actor and comedian, best known as one of the cast members of the popular Saturday Night Live television series.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Farley got his start with Chicago's Second City comedy group. Soon, Farley was discovered by Lorne Michaels, producer of NBC's Saturday Night Live. Michaels hired Farley to join the cast and he immediately became one of the most popular cast members during the 1991 to 1995 seasons. Appearing on Saturday Night Live was a dream come true for Farley, who idolized comedian and former cast member, John Belushi. Some of his most memorable characters were Matt Foley, Bennett Brauer, Barney (with Patrick Swayze in the Chippendale sketch), Todd O'Connor (in Bill Swerski's Superfans), Drinking Buddy (in Mike Myers'Middle Aged Man skit) and himself in The Chris Farley Show.

Farley left the show in 1995 and made several movies with fellow former SNL cast member David Spade. The two starred in 1995's Tommy Boy and 1996's Black Sheep. Farley also made appearances in other films, such as Coneheads in 1993, Wayne's World 2 in 1993, Adam Sandler's Billy Madison in 1995, Beverly Hills Ninja in 1997, Almost Heroes with Matthew Perry in 1998, and Norm MacDonald's Dirty Work in 1998. Farley won widespread acclaim not only as a great physical comedian but also as a fine comic actor. He was especially praised for a moving scene in Tommy Boy where he talked about his father.

Farley, who had struggled with obesity, alcohol, and drug addiction for years, was found dead in his Chicago apartment on December 18, 1997. An autopsy revealed that Farley had died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and heroin, with coronary arteriosclerosis being a contributing factor. It should also be mentioned that he was 33 years old at his death, the same age John Belushi was when he died 15 years before. David Spade, dealing with a memory of another close friend dying, didn't come to Farley's funeral.

Farley was in some ways a contradictory character: completely uninhibited onstage and known to be willing to do anything for a laugh, he could be shy and insecure in private. His friends have stated that they knew about and worried about his excessive behavior, but were unable to get him to stop. Following his death the tabloid press exploited the lurid details; however, people who knew Farley said he was a very kind, decent human being.

Before Farley's death, he was going to be the voice of Shrek.

External links

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