Celebrity Overdose – What Did They Use?: John Belushi

John Belushi

Born John Adam Belushi in Chicago to Albanian immigrant parents. As a boy, his family moved to Wheaton, where John played on the high school football team and was homecoming king. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater where he co-founded an acting troupe. Belushi then auditioned for and won a spot with Chicago’s famous Second City ensemble. In 1973 John moved to New York City and landed a role off-Broadway in National Lampoon’s “Lemmings”. The part led to a job as a writer for the syndicated National Lampoon’s Radio Hour. In 1975 a new skit comedy program was being cast and John won a spot with an audition featuring his soon to be familiar Samurai character as a pool hustler. John formed a partnership with fellow cast mate Dan Aykroyd and together they introduced the Blues Brothers with a rendition of “Hey Bartender” in the spring of 1978 on SNL and followed it with the released of an album; “Briefcase Full of Blues”. That same year saw the release of “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and John became a huge star. John continued as a member of SNL until September of 1979. He and Aykroyd then threw themselves into the creation of “The Blues Brothers”. Released in 1980, it set a record for the most cars crashed in one movie and sparked a renewed interest in the blues. John partnered with Aykroyd again in 1981’s “Neighbors” and, in a departure from his usual persona, played the romantic lead in the comedy “Continental Divide”. Unfortunately, with his fame apparently came a cocaine addiction. John became known as a hard core party man. His last days were spent in West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont Hotel, with similar hard core users. Witnesses said that on March 5, 1982, John mainlined a cocktail of heroin and cocaine called a speed ball. The overdose caused a complete respiratory failure and killed him. On March 9, Dan Aykroyd, in a black leather jacket and black jeans, led John’s funeral procession on his motorcycle. 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.

%d bloggers like this: