Chris Farley

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Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American comedian and actor. Farley was a member of Chicago's The Second City Theatre[1] and the cast of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He also starred in a string of successful comedy films in the 1990s including Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. He died on December 18, 1997 in his Chicago apartment of cardiac arrest caused by a drug overdose.[2]


Early life

Farley was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Mary Anne (née Crosby), a housewife, and Thomas "Tom" Farley, Sr., who owned an oil company. [3][4] He had three brothers, Tom Jr., Kevin and John, and a sister, Barbara. His cousin, Jim, is a vice president at Ford Motor Company.[5][6] Farley's family are traditionally Irish Catholic, and Farley and his siblings attended Catholic schools in his hometown, including Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart. According to Joel Murray, a fellow Second City cast member, Chris would "always make it to Mass".[7] Many of his summers were spent as a camper and counselor at Red Arrow Camp, near Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Farley graduated from Marquette University in 1986, with a concentration in communications and theater.[8] After college, he worked with his father at the Scotch Oil Company in Madison.[9] He got his start in professional comedy at the Ark Improv Theatre in Madison, and at the Improv Olympic theater in Chicago. He then performed at Chicago's Second City Theatre, initially as part of Second City's touring group. He was eventually promoted to their main stage. While working at Second City, Farley befriended his Saturday Night Live colleague Lorne Michaels.[10]

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