John Belushi Biography

John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, musician and actor. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

John Belushi
Quick Facts

Birthday: January 24, 1949

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By John Belushi Died Young

Died At Age: 33

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: John Adam Belushi, Jake Blues,

Born in: Humboldt Park

Famous as: Comedian, Actor, Musician


Spouse/Ex-: Judith Belushi Pisano

father: Adam Belushi

mother: Agnes Samaras

siblings: Billy Belushi, Jim Belushi, Marian Belushi

Died on: March 5, 1982

place of death: Hollywood

Cause of Death: Drug Overdose

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: College of DuPage, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, musician and actor who rose to prominence in the 1970s with the help of some of stellar acts that he headlined during his career in Hollywood. Belushi was born in a family of Albanian immigrants and grew up in his native Chicago. Right from his time at school he had started off as a music band member and before joining the university he had already formed his own comedy troupe that would eventually propel him into prominence. After completing university, Belushi started his own troupe but after sometime he became a member of the comedy troupe ‘The Second City’ and finally on to ‘National Lampoon Lemmings’ for whom he produced plenty of popular work in his early years. His most important work was probably the four year stint at ‘Saturday Night Live’ that started in the mid-1970s and his performances on the show are regarded by many as the best that they have ever seen. Later on Belushi produced music albums and also forayed into acting, both of which proved to be successful. Belushi had a short career but there is absolutely no doubt that he was one of the shining stars of television during the greater part of his career.

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John Belushi
Childhood & Early Life
  • John Adam Belushi was born on January 24, 1949 to Adam Anastos Belushi and Agnes Demetri in Humboldt Park area in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Belushi’s father was an Albanian immigrant while his mother was a second generation Albanian immigrant. Belushi had two younger brothers and a sister.
  • John Belushi was educated at the Wheaton Central High School located in Wheaton, Illinois. During his years as a school student, Belushi was heavily involved in sports and music. He played football for the school and became a part of a music band as well. However, his ambition was to become an actor.
  • After graduating from high school John Belushi performed in a few summer productions before joining the University of Wisconsin and later on he studied at the College of DuPage. Belushi was awarded his associate degree in the year 1970 but he had already found his calling as a comic.
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  • John Belushi became a founding member of the three member comedy troupe named ‘The West Compass Trio’ in Chicago. In 1971, he got his big break when he got an offer from ‘The Second City’ to become a member of their cast and his career trajectory took a considerable upturn.
  • John Belushi became a member of the cast of ‘National Lampoon Lemmings’ with people like Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest. In 1972, they produced a parody version of the iconic music festival Woodstock and the following year Belushi wrote, directed and acted in the radio programme ‘The National Lampoon Radio Hour’.
  • In 1975, the producers of the show ‘Saturday Night Live’ approached him to appear on the show and he appeared in the show for four years. John Belushi appeared as a guest artist subsequently but his time at ‘Saturday Night Life’ was blighted with frequent conflicts with the producers due to his drug problem. He created the act ‘The Blues Brothers’ during his time there.
  • John Belushi made his foray into the big screen with the release of three films in 1978. The three films were ‘Old Boyfriends’, ‘Goin’ South’ and ‘Animal House’. ‘Animal House’, made on a budget of $2.8 million was a highly acclaimed film and went on to earn in excess of $140 million. The same year, ‘The Blues Brothers’ act from ‘Saturday Night Live’, signed up with Atlantic Records and released the album ‘Briefcase Full of Blues’.
  • In 1979, John Belushi starred in the Steven Spielberg films ‘1941’ and followed it up with films like ‘The Blues Brothers’ the following year and ‘Neighbors’ in the year after that. He acted with his longtime collaborator Dan Ackroyd in all those films. He also starred in the film ‘Continental Divide’ in 1981.
Major Works
  • John Belushi appeared in successful movies and was also the member of a music band; however his most important and iconic work was for the television show ‘Saturday Night Live’ for four years starting from 1975. Rolling Stone Magazine adjudged him as the best performer among all the cast members who appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live’.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 2004, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • John Belushi got married to Judith Jacklin in 1976 after having been in a relationship for some years. They did not have any children.
  • John Belushi died on March 5, 1982 due to a drug overdose in a room of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood. He was only 33 years old.

1. The Blues Brothers (1980)

  (Crime, Action, Comedy, Music, Musical)

2. Animal House (1978)


3. Goin' South (1978)

  (Comedy, Romance, Crime, Western)

4. Continental Divide (1981)

  (Romance, Comedy)

5. 1941 (1979)

  (Comedy, War, Action)

6. Neighbors (1981)


7. Old Boyfriends (1979)


8. Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle (1975)

  (Comedy, Adventure, Animation)


Primetime Emmy Awards
1977 Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series Saturday Night Live (1975)

See the events in life of John Belushi in Chronological Order

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- John Belushi Biography
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Last Updated
- September 14, 2017

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