John Belushi Death Photos Biography
John Adam Belushi was born in 1949 to immigrant Albanian restaurant owners, Adam and Agnes Belushi.
Belushi first excelled at school football and playing the drums, but it was not long before his exceptional comic acting talent became his main focus.
He succesfully auditioned for Chicago’s 'Second City' comedy troupe and became the festival’s youngest-ever main stage performer.
Developing throughout the early 1970s, he was chosen for National Lampoon’s off-broadway production 'Lemmings', and became a regular fixture of the comic collective’s act.
In 1975, 'Saturday Night Live' began, a new satirical review program on NBC, with Belushi and other 'Second City' colleagues starring. Initially, the focus was on Chevy Chase but, in the second season in 1976, Chase left, and Belushi blossomed.
His characters and sketches included Samurai warriors, short-order cooks and, with Dan Ackroyd, the 'Blues Brothers', later to be made into a hit film.
After a bit part in Jack Nicholson’s 'Going South' in 1978, Belushi truly became a star, playing the frathouse goof Pluto in 'National Lampoon’s Animal House' in the same year. His performance became a cult college favourite, and increased his notoreity.
The rest of his career was hit and miss. There was the hilarious epic homage to black music in 'The Blues Brothers' in 1982, but there was also the critical and commerical failure of 1981’s 'Continental Divide'.
During the early Eighties, Belushi’s drug intake spiralled out of control. Always a willing participant, he was now beyond self-parody. Fellow comic Robin Williams and writer Nelson Ryan came to visit Belushi in his Hollywood hotel room on 5 March 1982, and were the last to see him alive.
He died of a massive overdose of heroin and cocaine on the 5 March 1982. His girlfriend, who was present at the time of his death, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Although central to his legacy and larger-than-life reputation, the epic rise and fall of Belushi’s career has threatened to overshadow his very real achievements and comic gifts. An almost barbaric, improvisatory virtuoso, Belushi’s style has remained very influential.