Chris Farley was born Christopher Crosby Farley on February 15, 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin to Tom and Mary Anne Farley. His siblings consisted of three brothers. Farley attended Edgewood High School and graduated from Marquette University with a degree in theatre and communications in 1986. Upon graduating, Farley performed with a comedy group at the Ark Improv Theatre in his hometown. He then moved onto the widely popular, Second City Theatre in Chicago, Illinois performing comedy skits. Second City was a stomping ground for many upcoming talents including, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Meyers and Steve Carell. It was here that Farley would be discovered by Lorne Michaels, the producer for the comedy sketch show, “Saturday Night Live”.
Farley’s debut on “Saturday Night Live” was in the 1990 to 1991 season. His contract was for a duration of five years but he was let go after four because of major cast changes. Farley had many memorable characters on “Saturday Night Live” including, Matt Foley, a motivational speaker, a girl who worked at the Gap, a lunch lady, and Todd O’Connor who was a huge fan of the Chicago Bears. Farley had close friendships with fellow cast members, David Spade, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock which endured until the end of his life. During his stint at “Saturday Night Live”, Farley also starred in movies such as “Wayne’s World”, “Coneheads”, “Wayne’s World 2”, “Airheads”, and “Billy Madison” with Adam Sandler. After he left “Saturday Night Live”, he followed it up with two largely successful movies starring David Spade which were, “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep”. Together they grossed over $64 million at the box office and became favorites of many Farley fans. Movies he starred in next were “Beverly Hills Ninja”, “Almost Heroes” with Matthew Perry and “Dirty Work” with Norm MacDonald which was his last film in 1998.
During most of Farley’s life, addictions had always plagued him resulting from deep insecurity. He had addictions to food, alcohol and drugs which he continued to battle up until his death. Farley did everything in excess, nothing was small. In the afternoon of December 17, 1997, Farley’s brother John, went to see him at his home in Chicago, Illinois. John found his brother lying ten feet from the door, dead, while holding rosary beads in his hand. He was just 33 years old. An autopsy performed on Farley found that heroine and cocaine was in his system resulting in an accidental overdose. Chris Farley is currently buried in Resurrection Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin.