Raised in Wheaton, Illinois as a child.
Attended Edison Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois.
Attended Wheaton Central High School, now Wheaton Warrenville South High School, in Wheaton, Illinois.
Following his untimely death, he was interred at Abel's Hill Cemetery in Chilmark (on Martha's Vineyard), Massachusetts. His grave is unmarked.
Used to borrow a $20 bill from new acquaintances, judging them from their reactions at his request.
Had starred alone in a black and white Saturday Night Live (1975) sketch titled "Don't Look Back in Anger", in which he played himself as an old man visiting the graves of the other original SNL cast members, himself being the last survivor. In an odd twist of fate, Belushi was the first of the cast to die.
Began his career in Shawnee Summer Theatre of Greene County's youth theatre education program, in Bloomfield, Indiana.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 38-40. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
A petition drive was started to have a commemorative stamp printed by the U.S. Postal Service for the actor.
At the time of his untimely death, Belushi was rewriting a script entitled "Noble Rot".
4/1/04: Posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6355 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The ceremony was attended by his brother Jim Belushi and friend and partner Dan Aykroyd. Also in attendance were John's widow Judith Belushi-Pisano and fellow SNL cast member Chevy Chase.
Made a "Guest Star Appearance" on an episode of the television series Police Squad! (1982) which showed him underwater wearing cement shoes. He died shortly before the episode aired, so the scene was cut and replaced by a segment with William Conrad. After the success of the Naked Gun movies in the early 1990s, ABC-TV re-aired episodes of "Police Squad!" and hoped to re-edit the Belushi scene back into the episode. However, the footage could not be found and is now presumed lost or destroyed.
Was good friends with fellow Saturday Night Live (1975) player Dan Aykroyd. Belushi personally met with Aykroyd at a speakeasy that Aykroyd frequented to discuss the possibility of Aykroyd joining Saturday Night Live (1975), which is where they hit it off. While they were talking, Aykroyd put on a blues record, which stirred a fascination in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy metal. SNL music director Howard Shore later heard about Aykroyd re-familiarizing Belushi with blues music and suggested that they do a musical sketch, which eventually led to the birth of their popular "Blues Brothers" act.
The role of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (1984) was originally written for Belushi. After his death, the role went to fellow SNL player Bill Murray.
Was scheduled to present the first annual Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 1982 Academy Awards with Dan Aykroyd, but died weeks before the ceremony. Aykroyd presented the award alone, and stated from the podium: "My partner would have loved to have been here tonight to present this award, since he was a bit of a Visual Effect himself.".
His favorite comedienne was Lucille Ball, he knew every detail of her life and career.
Had signed to play a supporting role in Once Upon a Time in America (1984), but died before the film went into production. He was replaced by James Woods.
Was billed as "Kevin Scott" on an episode of Saturday Night Live (1975), as a spoof on suggestions that his name Belushi be softened or changed, for the television audience (John's Albanian family had kept the name when they came to America, so he wanted to also.).
His good friend Dan Aykroyd used to refer to the green ghost Slimer from Ghostbusters (1984) as "the ghost of John Belushi", based on the similar party animal personality.
A scene was deleted from 1941 (1979) in which his character met Dan Aykroyd's character right before he boarded the Japanese submarine. They looked at each other as if recognizing each other, a nod to their real life friendship. This was the only scene in the film where they interacted.
Chris Farley was an admirer of Belushi and, sadly, Farley too died in his early 30s just when his career appeared to be taking off.
There is a John Belushi Memorial Scholarship for Performing Arts at his alma mater, College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Illinois).
The epitaph on Belushi's tombstone (on Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts) read, "He made us laugh, and now he can make us think." John's grave drew so many curious viewers that his casket had to be moved and reburied in an unmarked corner of the cemetery... after which Belushi's fans posted a new epitaph for him which has since become famous: "He could have given us a lot more laughs, but NOOOOOOO!" (This was taken from one of his more-famous catchphrases on Saturday Night Live (1975)).
Attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He bought his famous "College" shirt seen in Animal House (1978) at a small shirt shop on "The Strip" (Illinois Street or US Route 51) in Carbondale, which still exists.
His performance as John "Bluto" Blutarsky in Animal House (1978) is ranked #48 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 61-62. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
Older brother of Jim Belushi. Uncle of Robert Belushi.
While co-hosting an episode of Siskel & Ebert (1986) with Richard Roeper, longtime friend and collaborator Harold Ramis revealed that it was Belushi's longtime ambition to play Ludwig van Beethoven in a feature film.
Belushi died in bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles. The last two stars to see him alive were Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, both of whom had visited Belushi, on separate occasions, shortly before his death.
The Polish rock group Lady Pank (who provided the music for the animated series The Two Who Stole the Moon (1962)) wrote a song called "John Belushi", which appears on the album "Tacy Sami". The tune was composed by Jan Borysewicz and the lyrics were written by Zbigniew Holdys.
Was very generous, financially, to family and friends, often loaning them money when they asked. Toward the end of his life, Belushi's business manager asked him to contact several family and friends and generate money by demanding they make good on their loans. Belushi refused.
Had appeared with Michael O'Donoghue in "Wolverines", the very first sketch on the first SNL show in 1975.
He discovered the band Fear and brought them to Cherokee Studios to record songs for the soundtrack of a major motion picture, he and Dan Aykroyd were starring in, called Neighbors (1981).
John was the original choice to be Dan Aykroyd's co-star in Spies Like Us (1985) (in the role that eventually went to Chevy Chase). Aykroyd and Belushi discussed the upcoming movie with Gene Shalit on Today (1952); the clip is included as a special feature on the "Best of John Belushi" DVD.
Was good friends with Wrestling Legend Dusty Rhodes.
Belushi's nickname "America's Guest" stemmed from his habit of wandering to a random house of a complete stranger, knocking on the door, going in, helping himself to something in the refrigerator and then sleeping on the stranger's couch. Most strangers, recognizing who he was, did not seem to mind Belushi's "visit".
Since Albania was under communism during his youth, Belushi often told people he was of Greek and Italian descent.
Universal wanted him to co-star with Dan Aykroyd in An American Werewolf in London (1981). They were both busy with Neighbors (1981) and John Landis wanted fresh faces.
Came first in Rolling Stone's ranking of every Saturday Night Live (1975) castmember.
He turned down the role of Bill in Night Shift (1982). He later died during the making of the film.
He was supposed to appear in Nothing Lasts Forever (1984), but died before filming began. His role went to Dan Aykroyd.
He was considered to star as Hunter S. Thompson in Where the Buffalo Roam (1980).
He was going to star opposite Dan Aykroyd in a film adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" until his death put an end to that.
He was scheduled to present the first annual Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 1982 Academy Awards with Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd presented the award alone, and stated from the lectern: "My partner would have loved to have been here tonight to present this award, since he was a bit of a Visual Effect himself.".
The thrash metal group Anthrax penned a song about Belushi on their 1987 album Among the Living, titled "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.).".
He turned down the lead role in Arthur (1981) because he didn't want to be typecast.
In a 2011 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1984), Jane Curtin claimed that he was a "misogynist" who would deliberately sabotage the work of women writers and comics while working on Saturday Night Live (1975). "So you'd go to a table read, and if a woman writer had written a piece for John, he would not read it in his full voice. He felt as though it was his duty to sabotage pieces written by women.".
He was a huge fan of Star Trek (1966) and got to play Captain Kirk in the famous Saturday Night Live (1975) sketch "The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise". He even went so far as to trim his sideburns so that they'd match Kirk's. William Shatner even confessed that he liked Belushi's performance better than his own.
He auditioned for the male lead in The Blue Lagoon (1980), but was deemed too funny for the part.
He was going to star in a film adaptation of "A Confederacy of Dunces" directed by Harold Ramis until his death put an end to the project.
He got clean and sober for Continental Divide (1981).
He was played by Eric Siegel in Gilda Radner: It's Always Something (2002), Tyler Labine in Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy (2005), and Michael Chiklis in Wired (1989).
He was going to reunite with Dan Aykroyd in About Last Night... (1986), where John's role went to his brother Jim Belushi, who starred in the original play.