Chris Farley Dead At 33

December 19, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Chris Farley, the actor who rose to fame playing off-kilter but lovable characters on "Saturday Night Live," was found dead in Chicago on Thursday. He was 33.

The cause of death was not immediately known, although Chicago Fire Department officials told Reuters that he had died of a heart attack. Farley's body was reportedly found by his brother in an apartment at the John Hancock building in downtown Chicago.

Farley began his career with the renowned Second City comedy troupe. Second City was also home to John Belushi and John Candy -- who both were major influences on Farley's brand of physical comedy and who both, ironically, died in their prime.

Late Thursday afternoon Second City issued a statement saying, "It is with the utmost sadness and deepest regret that the Second City recognizes the passing of one of its own ... Chris was many things -- talented, funny, gentle and kind. Everyday of his life was devoted to entertaining others."

Farley spent five seasons on "Saturday Night Live" popularizing such characters as motivational speaker Matt Foley and the Chicago Bears super fan.

In addition to his work on "SNL," Farley appeared on the big screen in "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep," "Wayne's World," "Coneheads" and "Beverly Hills Ninja."

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