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John Belushi's mother, Agnes Demetri, was born in Ohio to Albanian immigrants; his father, Adam Anastos Belushi, was an Albanian immigrant from Qytezë.   Born in Humboldt Park , a neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago , Belushi was raised in Wheaton , a suburb west of Chicago, along with his three siblings: younger brothers Billy and ...
John Belushi, Actor: Saturday Night Live. John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was six. Though a young hellion in grade school, John ...
May 20, 2020 · John Belushi's body being taken from a bungalow at Chateau Marmont in Hollywood to the coroner's office after his death. Photo: Getty Images Belushi's official cause of death was 'acute cocaine ...
Oct 08, 2019 · John Belushi was born on January 24, 1949, in Wheaton, Illinois. One of four children born to Albanian immigrants, he was good at getting laughs in high school.
- January 24, 1949
- March 5, 1982
Aug 19, 2020 · John Belushi was an actor and comedian that by all accounts was beloved by his co-stars in movies and on Saturday Night Live.But tragically, he died in 1982 at the age of 33. Ahead of the premiere ...
- 5 min
- Andrea Reiher
- John Belushi’s Rise as An Entertainer
- Belushi’s Drug Use
- The Days Leading Up to John Belushi’s Death
- How Did John Belushi Die?
- The Aftermath
John Belushi was born in Chicago on Jan. 24, 1949 and raised in nearby Wheaton, Illinois, the eldest son of an Albanian immigrant. He expressed an interest in comedy at an early age, starting his own comedy troupe and eventually being invited to join Second City in Chicago, one of the country’s best comedy theaters. It’s where he met Dan Aykroyd, a Canadian comedian who would soon join Belushi on SNL. In 1972, Belushi moved to New York City, where he worked the next three years on a variety of projects for National Lampoon. That’s where he met Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. In 1975 Belushi earned a spot as one of the original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” on Lorne Michaels’ new late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. It’s SNLthat suddenly made Belushi — a 20-something funny guy from Chicago — a household name nationwide. The next few years included a whirlwind of film projects, including National Lampoon’s Animal House, which quickly became one of the highest-grossing comedie...
Stardom did come with a price, and Belushi began abusing cocaine and other drugs to cope with his insecurities and the long hours that came with working in film and television. His heavy reliance on drugs worsened during the filming of The Blues Brothers. “We had a budget in the movie for cocaine for night shoots,” Aykroyd told Vanity Fairin 2012. “John, he just loved what it did. It sort of brought him alive at night—that superpower feeling where you start to talk and converse and figure you can solve all the world’s problems.” Belushi’s drug abuse continued to spiral out of control as he became frustrated with the response to his next couple of films, Continental Divide and Neighbors.
The last few months of Belushi’s life were spent prowling the streets of Los Angeles in a haze of drugs. People reportedthat Belushi spent about $2,500 a week on his drug habit the last few months of his life. “The more money he made, the more coke he blew.” Judy, Belushi’s high school sweetheart and wife of six years, did not accompany him on his final West Coast trip, opting to stay in Manhattan instead. “He was abusing cocaine again, and that interfered with everything in our life,” she wrote. “We had everything going for us, and yet because of those damn drugs, everything just got out of control.” Harold Ramis, Belushi’s frequent comedy collaborator, visited his friend during this period and described him as “exhausted” and in a state of “total despair.” He went on to attribute Belushi’s sad emotional state to cocaine.
On Feb. 28, 1982, Belushi checked into Bungalow 3 at the Chateau Marmont, a luxury hotel overlooking the Sunset Strip. Little is known about his movements for the next couple of days. However, grand jury testimony by SNL writer Nelson Lyon shed light on Belushi’s last few hours. Lyon testified that on March 2, Belushi showed up at his home with Cathy Smith, a Canadian drug dealer he met on the set of SNL. According to Lyon, Smith injected both men with cocaine, a total of five times that day. He next saw Smith and Belushi on March 4 when they arrived at his home. Smith then injected Belushi with drugs at Lyon’s home three or four times. Later that evening, according to Lyon, the three of them met actor Robert De Niro at On the Rox, a an exclusive club for celebrities on the Sunset Strip. (According to historian Shawn Levy’s The Castle on Sunset, Belushi never made it to the club, apparently staying in his hotel room the whole night while De Niro tried to coax him out over the phone....
A few months after Belushi’s death, Smith admitted to being with Belushi the night of his death and administering the fatal speedball injection during a National Enquirerinterview. “I killed John Belushi,” she said. “I didn’t mean to, but I am responsible.” Smith was indicted on second-degree murder charges and 13 counts of administering cocaine and heroin by a Los Angeles grand jury in March 1983, serving 15 months in prison after a plea of no contest. After learning about John Belushi’s tragic death, learn about James Dean’s strange and brutal demise. Then, take a look at 11 of history’s most famous suicides.
- Samuel Warde
John's memorial service two days later drew over 1000 relatives and friends to the Cathedral of Saint John Divine in New York. As he once promised John, Aykroyd played the Ventures "2000-pound Bee" at the service. Actor. Comedian. Born John Adam Belushi in Chicago to Albanian immigrant parents.
- Popular culture
Bob Woodward has written a book named Wired that portrays Belushi as a man out of control, whose life came to be ruled by cocaine and other drugs.
Yet the cops who removed his body from a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont on March 5, 1982, were brutally frank. He looked, to them, like just another dead junkie.
Judy Belushi remembers the good times. She argues that \\"drugs can be fun,\\" and that she and John had a lot of ups along with the downs. The difference was that John never knew when to stop. Woodward portrays a man who, at the time of his death, was throwing away a career and alienating key people in the movie industry by a pattern of uncontrolled drug abuse. Judy Belushi speaks of the pressures of show business, of John's need to find energy and inspiration in drugs so that he could deliver what was expected of him.
The protests over Woodward's unflinching portrait of Belushi's last days reminds me (not with a smile) of an old Irish joke. The mourners are gathered around the dead man's coffin.
I remember a day here at the Sun-Times building when Belushi was shooting scenes for \\"Continental Divide.\\" I had known him for years on a casual basis; our paths crossed occasionally, from early days of Old Town bars and Second City parties to later interviews and show-biz occasions. I had rarely seen him looking better than he looked that day. He told me he was in great shape. He was off the booze and the drugs. He was exercising. A man was standing next to him, and he introduced him as \\"my trainer.\\" Well, what was he going to call him? \\"My drug guard?\\" Alcoholism and drug abuse are characterized by denial and an addict will substitute almost any conceivable illness or weakness for the one he must deny; John seemed to place the entire situation in the category of \\"losing weight\\" and \\"getting in shape.\\" An alcoholic who has temporarily stopped drinking but does not yet admit his problem will frequently do what John did, which is to describe abstinence as a training program or a diet.
His career was coming apart. \\"Continental Divide\\" did not do well at the box office. There were arguments and major problems during the shooting of \\"Neighbors.\\" Work was at a standstill on the screenplay for Belushi's next project, titled \\"Noble Rot.\\" All the career setbacks are described by Woodward. They were accompanied by episodes of drug and alcohol abuse that grew increasingly alarming to his friends and family.
Judy Belushi, in describing those episodes, often links them with their \\"causes.\\" For example, she differs with Woodward on his interpretation of Belushi's drug use during the filming of \\"Goin' South,\\" one of his early films, which starred Jack Nicholson. In the Woodward version, Belushi's drug use created problems with the shooting schedule. In Judy Belushi's version, John had flown to New York for a heavy \\"Saturday Night Live\\" taping schedule, had exhausted himself, was diagnosed as having \\"walking pneumonia,\\" should have been hospitalized, was nevertheless advised by his lawyer to fly back to the movie location in Mexico -- and only then, after being kept on hold for several days in Mexico, began to use drugs. Well, she seems to be asking, can you blame him? It is true, that for someone with a dependency on drugs or alcohol, there will be situations that literally cannot be gotten through without drugs or alcohol. But the other half of the truth is: The situations that cannot be gotten through without drugs or alcohol are invariably situations caused by drugs or alcohol. Booze fixes a hangover. Then booze causes a hangover. If a non-drinker woke up with a normal hangover, he would go to an emergency room. A surprising number of drug and alcohol abusers walk around every day for years with symptoms that a healthy person would equate with \\"walking pneumonia,\\" or worse.
The disagreement over the facts of this episode are unimportant, now that Belushi is in his grave. Judy's interpretation is revealing. Her rationale, if I follow it, is that John used drugs in response to an intolerable situation, and that drugs were his means of coping with it. He was not just irresponsibly going on a blast.
To me, the tragic figure in the book is Judy Belushi. Tragedy is when you know not only what was, but what could have been. No matter what she thinks of the Woodward book, for me she comes across in it as a courageous, loving, generous and incredibly patient woman who stood by John as well as she could, who put up with a lot of hell, who did what seemed to be right, and who is not content to have his epitaph read \\"junkie.\\"
Nov 12, 2019 · Toward the end of 1977, Griffin Dunne introduced Carrie Fisher, then just turning 21, to John Belushi, the biggest star of TV’s two-year-old Saturday Night Live.This would be an important but ...
Feel-Good results for John Belushi
Sep 04, 2020 · A headline on the cover of The National Enquirer in June 1982 became the defining element of Cathy Smith’s life. “‘I Killed John Belushi,’” it read, alongside a large photograph of Mr ...