Steve Martin & Laurie Metcalf Remember Late Co-Star In Hilarious Tribute

It has been 30 years since John Candy passed away at the young age of 43, but his legacy continues to live on in the hearts of his friends and colleagues. The Canadian actor and comedian was best known for his roles in movies such as Spaceballs, Splash, and Uncle Buck, and he was loved by many, both on and off screen.

In an exclusive tribute, PEOPLE gathered interviews with some of his former co-stars, who shared heartwarming and candid stories about Candy’s kindness, humor, and generosity.

One of Candy’s co-stars, Steve Martin, recalls his memories of working with Candy on the film Planes, Trains and Automobiles. He describes Candy as “just as lovely as you’d want him to be,” and remembers their time together as filled with laughter and support.

Martin’s sentiments are echoed by another former co-star, Laurie Metcalf, whom Candy worked with on Uncle Buck. Despite her initial nervousness about working with such a renowned comedian, Metcalf remembers Candy as “patient and generous,” and someone who taught her a lot about being a great scene partner.

Richard Lewis, who co-starred with Candy in two films including Once Upon a Crime, also has fond memories of the late actor. He remembers Candy as a master of improv, who was always willing to collaborate and try out different ideas. In fact, Lewis recalls times when he would “make believe” he was a writer at Second City TV (SCTV), and Candy would do improv with him, resulting in what Lewis calls “comedy heaven.”

But Candy’s kindness extended beyond his fellow entertainers. As his former co-star Catherine O’Hara reveals, Candy loved connecting with fans and often engaged with people who recognized him on the street.

O’Hara explains that Candy had a talent for making people feel welcome and wanted, using the two rules of improvisational comedy – “yes, and…” and “no, but…” Beloved for both his on-screen talent and off-screen warmth, Candy was often described as the “king of comedy” or “the Pope in Rome” by his co-stars.

O’Hara further elaborates on Candy’s innate kindness, describing him as a person who was simply “nice to everyone.” She recalls how he would always laugh at other people’s jokes and engage with fans who wanted to do a comedy bit with him. Lewis adds that Candy had a certain “swagger” that overwhelmed fans – he was the type of person that people couldn’t believe they were in the presence of.

One of Candy’s most defining moments was his time on SCTV, where he honed his skills in improv and comedy. His former co-stars, including O’Hara, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy, remember him as a “master of comedy,” and credit him for teaching them how to give their best performances. For many, Candy’s legacy lives on through his work on this iconic show and the many films he left behind.

Candy never let it get to his head. As his co-stars attest, he was always as genuine and kind as the characters he played on screen. His sudden and untimely death was a huge loss for the entertainment industry, but his memory continues to be cherished by those who knew and loved him.