Old School Americana & Nostalgia

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Catherine O’Hara Admits She Had a Crush on ‘Home Alone’ Costar John Candy

Catherine O’Hara Admits She Had a Crush on ‘Home Alone’ Costar John Candy

Catherine O’Hara worked with John Candy in their days with Second City Theater as well as in the 1990 movie Home Alone. O’Hara played Kate McCallister opposite Candy’s Gus Polinski, who was the “Polka King of the Midwest.” All these years later, O’Hara admits that she did have a crush on Candy back in the day.

“He was just as lovely as you want him to be,” O’Hara, 69, said in an interview with People magazine. O’Hara was doing interviews in advance of her latest film, Argylle. “I wouldn’t claim he was interested in me that way,” O’Hara said. “But he was always really lovely to me in Second City Theater.”

Catherine O’Hara Met John Candy At Second City

By the time O’Hara started working with Candy, he already was in a relationship with Rosemary Hobor. Candy married her in 1979. Sadly, Candy died of a heart attack while filming a movie in Mexico on March 4, 1994.

O’Hara and Candy met when she joined the Second City troupe in 1974. Both would have key roles in getting laughs while SCTV hit the NBC airwaves. The actors-comedians played a series of different characters on the show. As a side note, O’Hara was the understudy for Gilda Radner. Of course, Radner would go on and join the cast of Saturday Night Live, the New York Post reports.

One thing O’Hara liked about working with Candy is his willingness to help others get better. “He would always be willing to do an improv with me after the show,” O’Hara said. “You do a show and then you do improvs after the show. That’s how you build the next show at Second City Theater. And he was always willing to try any idea.”

Candy appeared to have a good time in life. Rarely were the moments that he complained about his situation in life. O’Hara added that Candy “was just so generous and larger than life. Maybe not larger, but [what] life was supposed to be.”

O’Hara Says Candy Enjoyed Meeting Fans

O’Hara, who also appeared in the Michael Keaton movie Beetlejuice, said Candy was never afraid to interact with fans. He connected with them by using the “yes, and…” and “no, but …,” rules of improvisation.

“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,” O’Hara said. “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 said.

“It’s so nice to be able to not have to make up any bull–– because people loved him,” O’Hara said. “And when asked, ‘What was he like?’ they want to hear what they think he’d be like. And it’s so lovely to be able to validate their guesses about what he would be like in person.”

Candy also appeared in movies like Uncle Buck, Spaceballs, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Also, he had a memorable role as a guard in National Lampoon’s Vacation opposite Chevy Chase. While married to Hobor, Candy had two children, Jennifer and Christopher.

For old-school fans, seeing Candy in these movies and roles brings back warm memories. New fans get introduced to Candy’s movies more every year. Candy is still entertaining people even though he has been gone for many years.