Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15th, 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin. His mother Mary Anne was a home maker and his father Thomas Farley Sr. owned an oil company. Chris had three brothers, Tom Farley Jr., Kevin, John and a sister, Barbara. Chris was raised in a traditionally Irish Catholic background and he attended Madison area Catholic schools.
He attended Marquette University and studied theater and communications. Chris was in the cast of the Second City Theatre after he finished Marquette University. It was there that Chris was discovered by producer Lorne Michaels from Saturday Night Live. Chris went onto New York and starred the show for 5 years.
Chris often collaborated with fellow SNL cast members Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider and the group was often called the “Bad Boys of SNL”. There were many popular characters portrayed by Chris such as “Matt Foley” an over the top motivational speaker, a Chippendale’s dancer and as a lunch lady. Chris was also known for performing impersonations of many popular actors and public figures such as Rush Limbaugh and the singer Meat Loaf.
Soon, Farley was making cameo appearances in many movies. In 1992, he made cameo appearances in Wayne’s World, Coneheads, Airheads and Billy Madison. Later, after Chris Farley left SNL, he starred in the successful Tommy Boy and Black Sheep with his comic partner David Spade. Both films became cult favorites. In 1997, he was given the title role in Beverly Hills Ninja and it was number one at the box office for the first week of its release.
Chris went on to star in Almost Heroes with Matthew Perry but due to his excessive alcohol and drug problem, the film was held up many times. During filming, Chris entered rehab. He finished the film after rehab and also finished his final film Dirty Work. His film Dirty Work was released posthumously and paid tribute to him in the ending credits.
On December 18th, 1997, Chris Farley was found dead by his brother John in his Chicago apartment. Chris Farley’s autopsy showed that he died from a cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of cocaine and heroin.
A private funeral for Chris was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Madison, WI. Many of his fellow SNL cast mates showed up including Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Meyers and Lorne Michaels. Long time friend David Spade did not make the funeral. He was quoted saying “he could not be in a room where Chris was in a box”.
David Spade did appear on the 25th anniversary special of SNL and called a moment of remembrance for Chris.
August 26th, 2005, Chris Farley was finally given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star in right in front of the Imrov Olympic West Theater.