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John Belushi

John Belushi

John Belushi was born on the 24th of January 1949 in Wheaton, Illinois, to Adam and Agnes.

Even though he was a prolific sports star during his high school years, he had a passion for performing arts and was encouraged by his drama teacher to pursue a career in acting. After some improvisational shows he joined the Second City theatre company. Then stints on Broadway and radio with the U.S. humor magazine National Lampoon followed before he hit the big time with his original characters and larger-than-life performances on hit television show Saturday Night Live.

Belushi took his aggressive style into movies when he was cast in Jack Nicholson’s Goin’ South. However, it was John Landis who would bring him international stardom. After seeing Belushi in Nicholson’s film, Landis invited Belushi to play Blutu in the hit teen movie Animal House. While Belushi only had a few scenes in the film, he stole the show and was well-remembered for such sequences as the zit joke during lunch, smashing a guitar over his head, and falling off a ladder when looking through the girls dorm window.

It was another Landis film that cemented him in comedy folklore, playing one of two brothers alongside Dan Aykroyd in the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers.

However, his off-screen life was fueled with cocaine binges which became a worry for his wife Judy and his friends. Aykroyd, who was one of Belushi’s closest pals, got to work with his friend one more time in the 1981 comedy Neighbors. However, Belushi’s drug addiction had progressively got out of control and the actor was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room in March, 1982. James Taylor later sang That Lonesome Road’ at his funeral.

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