The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 3, 1998 · Page 28
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 28

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, June 3, 1998
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Page 28
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4 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 1998 APPLAUSE THE SALINA JOURNAL 'Almost Heroes 7 : Farley Boys Remember Brother Chris Duane Dudek Milwaukee Journal Sentinel John and Kevin Farley were not their brother's keepers. But to their regret they have become his spokesmen. The death of comedian and Madison, Wis., native Chris Farley, on Dec. 18, 1997, struck at the heart of his large and loving family whose members have broken their silence on his behalf. Farley left two movies behind: "Almost Heroes," in which he ccHStarred with Matthew Perry, opens Friday (May 29); Norm MacDonald's "Dirty Work," in which Farley made a cameo, opens June 5. In telephone interviews from their Los Angeles home, John Farley, 29, and his brother Kevin, 32, said they shared the late comic's belief that "Almost Heroes" represented a departure from his boisterous man- child roles. "He said this was his favorite work," said John, who appears in the film as a bartender. "He got to broaden his range. No more of that cutesy smile and giggle, although there's some of that. He liked it because it brought his acting out. No one had tapped into that yet." And Chris liked that "Almost Heroes" was an ensemble piece, John said. "It wasn't just him in the spotlight." Chris "definitely (wanted) to lean toward dramatic roles," said Kevin who, like John, is following in his late brother's show-business footsteps. But the oversize Farley was best known for his explosive vulnerability, first while performing at Second City in Chicago, next on TV's "Saturday Night Live" and then in the movies "Tommy Boy," "Black SKeep," "Beverly Hills Ninja," "Wayne's World" and "The Coneheads." "He could be that way" in real life, said Kevin. "That was the thing that people laughed at, so he put it out there for them. But there was a private side to him that was kind and very compassionate. He was a very quiet person. And humble. A lot COPY CO MORE THAN JUST A COPY CENTER 79<t COLOR COPIES 2346 PLANET AVE- GALAXY CENTER- 823-2679 OR FAX 823-2552 of people didn't see that." But it was Farley's wilder side that led to his death at age 33 from an accidental overdose of morphine and cocaine. John, who found his brother's body in the apartment they had shared in Chicago, said the death "was more of an accident" than a self- destructive lifestyle. "He wasn't a partyer plain and simple ... (but) had his own demons to battle," said John. Kevin learned of his brother's death while working on a TV series. "I had just gotten home for lunch and my father called," said Kevin. Farley, a Marquette University graduate, thought of himself as a Wisconsin boy, said Kevin. "What he wanted most was to live in the Midwest and have a nice family. But God blessed him with a talent to make people laugh, and it led him to Hollywood. But he loved the Midwestern lifestyle. ... I think he would have found a girl and settled down. He wanted a family more than anything." Farley's family recently gathered in Hollywood for a screening of "Almost Heroes," arranged by the comedian's friend Tom Arnold, and donated Farley's costume from the film to Planet Hollywood. The screening was "bittersweet," said Kevin. "I laughed so hard ... and the next emotion was how much I missed him." The event was more of celebration than eulogy. "We had done all the eulogies," said John. "Too many." Kevin said the family remembers Chris as generous and religious. "When he did charily work he wouldn't tell anyone about it. And he wouldn't just give money; he would give his time." John said Chris loved children and old people. Visiting his grandparents in a Madison nursing home, "he would plop into somebody's room looking sad and watching TV" and introduce himself. "If he saw an old per- . . . . . . Find out how you can benefit from a Roth IRA with a Platinum Shield® Tax-Qualified Annuity. 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