What Killed Chris Farley?

We all know actor/comedian Chris Farley died of an overdose on December 18, 1997.  The question is:  What made him do it?

At the beginning of 1997, Chris had the number one film in box office profit:  “Beverly Hill Ninja”.  By the end of the year, he was on a week-long drug binge and couldn’t stop.

Beverly Hills Ninja poster.jpg

In just a few short years, he’d graduated from “SNL” and was receiving millions of dollars per movie.  But all was not well – –

Farley lost the role for “The Cable Guy” to Jim Carrey.  His then-partner David Spade signed them on to “Black Sheep” – forcing him to do that instead.


Writer David Mamet wanted Farley for a serious auto-bio on “Fatty” Arbuckle.  Because of his know drug use, he’d become uninsurable.  The movie was put on stand-by till the actor cleaned up his act.

Girlfriend Lori Bagley, a “Victoria’s Secret” model, ended their affair because of drugs.  She had a brief scene in “Tommy Boy”.

Tommy Boy.jpg

October 1997.  Chris’ last appearance as guest host on “SNL” didn’t go as planned.

Chris Farley with Lorne Michaels. (10-25-97)

The opening skit went so bad, it was cut from all future broadcasts.  (The joke of it was that Chris Farley was “clean” of drugs, when he obviously wasn’t.)  David Spade saw a train-wreck coming.  He bowed out of “Almost Heroes”, replaced by  Matthew Perry.

Almost Heroes poster.jpg

What was eating at Farley?  Chris wanted to be taken seriously like Jackie Gleason in “The Hustler” and “Gigot”, whose dramatic roles earned critic’s praise.  Likewise, John Candy in “JFK” and “Only the Lonely”.  But, Farley couldn’t get off the comedy treadmill.  “Fatty falls down,” he used to say.  That was his shtick…and he felt trapped inside his own image.

Chris was in and out of different rehabs.  Workers there said he was the most addictive personality they’d ever seen.

In that last week, Chris hadn’t slept, snorting coke non-stop.

On his last day alive, a paid stripper-escort quit their “date”, walking out on him.  “Please don’t leave me, please, don’t leave me…” he begged, before he passed out on the floor.  She took a Polaroid picture, stole his watch then left a note.

Cause of death:  a lethal combination of heroin and cocaine – a “speedball”.  (The same thing that killed John Belushi.)

Last photo of Chris Farley alive.

David Spade recalled Chris’ OCD rituals during filming when he used to tap his foot a certain amount of times before the scene began.  Spade tried to psyche him out by saying “You’re tapping on the devil’s roof”, which freaked Farley out… but what if it was true?

Chris Farley Was Originally Cast to Voice Shrek | Rare

Sad afterthought: Chris had completed 80% of his voice-work for the animated feature “Shrek”. Producers replaced him with SNL actor Mike Myers.

Text © 2022 – EricReports

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