Canada Says Randy Quaid Can’t Stay

Denies Fugitive Actor's Request for Permanent Citizen Status

Randy & Evi Quaid at their arraignment in the Santa Barbara County Courthouse (Dec 22, 2009)
Paul Wellman

Canadian immigration officials have denied actor Randy Quaid’s request for permanent citizen status, according to news reports.

Quaid has been in Canada since 2010, simultaneously avoiding criminal charges here in Santa Barbara and hiding from what he says are the murderous intentions of a group he calls the Star Whackers.

Quaid and his wife, Evi, still have warrants out on them for charges of felony trespassing, stemming from their arrest at a home they once owned off Mountain Drive. According to authorities, the couple were squatting at the house, which has gone through two subsequent owners. The Quaids claim they never sold the property. After posting bail, the two missed several court appearances and eventually turned up in Vancouver.

In 2011, the Department of Justice denied a request from the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office to extradite the Quaids from Canada. The DOJ, according to a press release from the DA’s office at the time, “noted the resource intensive and lengthy process involved in seeking extradition from Canada,” and said it was usually reserved for more serious criminals.

For at least some of their time in Canada, the Quaids had been working to prove they still own the home on Mountain Drive. Evi Quaid is actually a Canadian citizen and is allowed to legally stay in the country, but it isn’t known what the next steps for Randy are. An Associated Press story said the decision to deny him permanent citizen status can be appealed.

The Quaids didn’t respond to an email or phone call from The Santa Barbara Independent seeking comment.

Randy Quaid, probably best known as Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, has also appeared in popular films like Independence Day and Brokeback Mountain.

The alleged trespassing incident was, at the time, the latest in a series of eccentric moves the couple made. Their arrest at the Mountain Drive home was their second time in custody in a year. They were arrested in September 2009 for allegedly not paying a $10,000 bill at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. While the charges were dropped against Randy Quaid, his wife pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of defrauding an innkeeper. The two appeared in court with Evi affixing a credit card to her forehead, and Randy pinning a toy sheriff’s badge on his suit.

The home in question was owned at the time by Lanette and Scott Turicchi, who called authorities when they discovered the Quaids on the property. According to authorities, furniture had been moved, pictures of the Quaids hung on the walls, and security cameras disabled. According to the Quaids, the documents that showed they had sold the home were fraudulently created and they never authorized the transaction.

Lanette Turicchi also filed for a restraining order against the couple, claiming they did “considerable destruction and damage” to the property. She also said that Evi Quaid showed up at the Turicchi’s Pasadena home in addition to mailing a letter there. In the letter, which was postmarked from the Quaids and listed the return address as the Mountain Drive home, the Quaids said they were never paid for the property in question and wrote: “You are trespassing. You must vacate immediately. Please leave our keys in our mailbox along with our remote gate opener.”

After they fled to Canada, the couple said they were escaping a group known as the Star Whackers, who were responsible for the deaths of several other actors, including Heath Ledger, who died of an accidental drug overdose; Chris Penn, who died of heart issues; and David Carradine, who hung himself. The Quaids feared they would be next.


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