Before his death, John Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and singer. As a regular actor in the NBC sketch of the comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL), he showed intense energy and was very shrill. During his time on the show, John Belushi created a number of characters that were well received, including his remarkable performances of Henry Kissinger and Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Early Life And Career
John Adam Belushi was born in Chicago on January 24, 1949, the son of his mother, Agnes Demetri, and his father, Adam Anastos Belushi, who were both Albanian emigrants. He grew up in Wheaton, a suburb west of Chicago, alongside his three siblings. John attended Wheaton Community High School where he first met his wife. In 1965 he and his high school classmates formed a band called The Ravens. He played drums and contributed vocals to their only single, Listen to Me/Jolly Green Giant. The song was not successful and The Ravens eventually disbanded after he enrolled at the College of DuPage.
After seeing The Compass Players, John Belushi formed his own comedy troupe in Chicago, which he and two friends – Tino Insana and Steve Besheka – called The West Compass Trio. The trio was a success and Bernard Sahlins, the founder of The Second City, became aware of them. He saw their performances and asked John Belushi to join the cast of The Second City. In 1972 he moved to New York City and began working as a writer, director, and actor for the National Lampoon Radio Hour, produced by the staff of the National Lampoon Magazine. In 1975, Chicago native Lorne Michaels was recommended to become a member of the television show Saturday Night Live (SNL). He was given the opportunity and worked on the show for over four years with successful characters such as the warrior samurai Futaba, the Greek owner of the Olympia Café, and Captain James T. Kirk.
Later he founded “The Blues Brothers” together with Dan Aykroyd. Originally they were meant to prepare the crowd before a show, but eventually, they were mainly used as musical guests. By 1978 he had become a remarkable face on the big screen, appearing in films such as “Boyfriends”, “Goin’ South” and “Animal House”; the latter became one of Hollywood’s most important works, with an estimated gross amount of more than $141 million.
When The Blues Brothers made waves on SNL, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd decided to make a real band out of it, and to that end, they brought instrumentalists on board. In 1978 the band released its debut album Briefcase Full of Blues with hot singles like Rubber Biscuit and Soul Man.
The American comedian continued his film career with Dan Aykroyd. They played together in Neighbours and The Blue Brothers in 1941. John Belushi continued working on various film projects until his death.
John Belushi – Net Worth
John Belushi had a short but successful career in Hollywood. At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of 2 million dollars. This is the result of his success with The Blue Brothers and as an actor.
Family: Brother, Wife
As mentioned above, John Belushi has three siblings: an older brother – Jim, an older sister – Marian, and a younger brother – Billy.
His brother, Jim, is an actor, singer, musician, and comedian. Jim has starred in films such as “Trading Places”, “About Last Night”, “Salvador”, “Mr. Destiny”, “Underdog” and “The Ghost Writer”.
Jim Belushi was married three times and had three children – a son, Robert James, born on October 23, 1980, a daughter – Jamison Bess, born July 28, 1999, and a son – Jared James, born February 8, 2002.
Judith Jacklin married John Belushi on 31 December 1976. The couple had the opportunity to grow up in the same neighborhood and also attended Wheaton Community High School together. They also moved to New York City together, where Judith Jacklin was the Associate Producer of the comedy radio show The National Lampoon Radio Hour. She also appeared in John’s films Animal House and The Blues Brothers without credits. Judith also worked as cover designer for the Blues Brothers’ four albums, namely Briefcase Full of Blues, Made in America, The Blues Brothers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and Best of The Blues Brothers.
After John’s death, Judith finally remarried Victor Pisano, the film producer and owner of NightOwl Productions, on October 7, 1990.
The day before his death, John Belushi asked his manager Bernie Brillstein for money, who refused to give it to him because John had become very addicted to drugs. However, John returned and asked again while Bernie had a visitor. Since he did not want to embarrass him in front of a guest, his manager reluctantly gave him the money.
On March 5, 1982, John was found dead at the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. He died as a result of his speedball shot, which was a combination of cocaine and heroin.
One of his friends, Catherine Evelyn Smith, admitted to having given John the speedball shot. She was initially charged with first-degree murder, but after a settlement in the criminal case, the charge was reduced to involuntary manslaughter. John Belushi was buried at Abel’s Hill Cemetery.
Two years later his life was described in detail in a biography entitled Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward. And in 2004 he was posthumously awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.