Farley died from overdose of cocaine, morphine
January 2, 1998
Web posted at: 3:50 p.m. EST (2050 GMT)
CHICAGO (CNN) -- Comedian Chris Farley died accidentally from
an overdose of cocaine and morphine, and his body showed no
traces of alcohol, the Cook County Medical Examiner announced
Coronary atherosclerosis -- a narrowing of the arteries
supplying the heart muscle -- was a significant contributing
factor in the 33-year-old Farley's death on December 18, Dr.
Edmund Donoghue said in a statement.
All three of Farley's coronary arteries showed significant
signs of narrowing, which is common in opiate intoxication,
Toxicology tests found morphine, a painkiller derived from
opium, and cocaine in Farley's blood.
Blood tests also found Farley had taken fluoxetine, an
antidepressant sold as Prozac, and an antihistamine, but
those did not contribute to his death, Donoghue said.
For fun, Farley imitates Speaker Newt Gingrich on the
floor of the House
"Both lungs showed edema and congestion, which is a common
finding in opiate intoxication," Donoghue wrote. "The liver
showed fatty change which is frequently seen in heavy
Farley was 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 296 pounds at
the time of his death, the medical examiner said.
The comedian's father, Thomas Farley, would not comment about
"I'm just getting over it. I know he's in God's hands now,"
Farley said Friday in a telephone interview from his home in
Madison, Wisconsin, where Chris Farley grew up.
Friends say he fought overindulgences
Farley's brother found his body on the floor of his apartment
in the posh John Hancock Building. Police said there was no
sign of foul play or drugs in the apartment.
Farley in "Beverly Hills Ninja"
The boisterous comedian was known for his roles on NBC's
"Saturday Night Live," where he was a cast member from 1990
to 1995. He joined Chicago's Second City improvisational
troupe before moving on to "SNL."
Farley's friends have said the actor waged a continual battle
against overeating, drugs and alcohol. Newspapers reported
after his death that he was seen on drinking binges during
his last few days.
Former "Saturday Night Live" writer Al Franken said producer
Lorne Michaels repeatedly suspended Farley from the show and
told him to get help.
Farley played a string of witless but lovable slobs in such
movies as "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep" and "Beverly Hills
Ninja." He was a 1986 graduate of Marquette University in
Milwaukee, where he studied theater and communication.