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Death of Chris Farley

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R.I.P. Chris Farley (February 15, 1964 - December 18, 1997)

Chris Farley was an American actor and comedian best known for appearing on Saturday Night Live as a cast member during seasons 16-20 from 1990 to 1995, before he left the show to star in movies such as Black Sheep and Tommy Boy alongside fellow cast member David Spade. Farley also made cameo appearances in certain movies, like Wayne's World, which starred fellow SNL cast members Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.

On SNL, Chris Farley was known for playing memorable characters like motivational speaker Matt Foley, Todd O'Connor on the Bill Swerski's Superfans sketch, and El Niño on his only appearance as host on October 25, 1997.

Farley has cited John Belushi as his idol and inspiration to begin his comic career. Although, much like John Belushi, Chris Farley also developed a drug addiction, which would eventually claim his life in late 1997.

On December 18, 1997, nearly two months after he hosted an episode of SNL, Farley was found dead by his younger brother John in his apartment in the John Hancock Center in Chicago at the age of 33. An autopsy concluded that Chris Farley passed away hours before his body was identified by his brother, presumably the early morning of December 18th, and the cause of death was ruled an overdose of morphine and cocaine (known in slang as a "speedball") which had parylzed his cardiovascular muscles. Farley's poor health was a likely stimulant that acted in tandem with the speedball, as advanced atherosclerosis was cited as a "significant contributing factor."

The films Dirty Work and Almost Heroes, which were released shortly after his death, were dedicated to Chris Farley, who had acted in both of them.

Prior to Farley's death, he had auditioned and recorded nearly every line for the role of the titular character in Shrek, a role which eventually went to his SNL co-star Mike Myers, who used a variant of his "All Things Scottish" character's voice.

May Chris Farley rest in peace.


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