On March 5, 1982, comedian John Belushi dies at the age of thirty-three from an overdose of cocaine and heroin leaving behind a widow Judith, friends, relatives and scores of fans. The former Saturday Night Live star featured in the hit films ‘Animal House’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’, had become addicted to cocaine and at the time of his death, had also included heroin into his repertoire of narcotics . The highly talented outgoing Belushi had yet to reach his full potential in a career with unlimited possibilities. But just who was John Belushi behind the scenes? And where exactly did he come from? His widow Judith Belushi Pisano, old friends, co-starts and directors explain to us what they recall of the life of one of the most popular comics in history. And what they have presented to us, is the definitive biography of the life of an enormously talented star gone far too soon. His life is examined in detail from his humble beginnings in Wheaton, IL to his final tragic moments in Los Angeles, California.
His role as Jake in the ‘Blues Brother’s is among one of my favorites and the film itself retains a place in my collection of films. The cameo appearances by numerous music stars, choreographed dance scenes and overall humor to the film make it one that I have watched several times and still find it enjoyable. His death and this biography shed light on the notorious drug culture that walks hand in hand with the celebrity lifestyle. Belushi, like hundreds of other stars, fell victim to a climate in which drugs, alcohol, sex and most other vices known to man are easy to obtain and abuse. Tragically, he wouldn’t live to talk about his past addictions and his name shares a place on a long list of celebrity drug tragedies that is populated by such names as River Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Farley, also of Saturday Night Live fame. Nonetheless, he remains an icon in American cinematic and television history and the short career he did have resulted in some of the most memorable moments ever captured on screen. It’s often said that as long as we’re remembered, we live forever. In John’s case, he will live for an eternity.