DEAD: John Belushi


John Belushi (aged 33)
American comedian, actor, and musician

John Adam Belushi (January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982) was an American comedian, actor, and singer. Belushi is best known for his “intense energy and raucous attitude” which he displayed as one of the seven original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). Throughout his career, Belushi had a close personal and artistic partnership with his fellow SNL star Dan Aykroyd, whom he met while they were both working at Chicago’s The Second City comedy club.

DEATH: On March 5, 1982, upon arriving for a scheduled workout, Belushi’s trainer Bill Wallace found him dead in Bungalow 3 at the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Belushi was 33 years old. The cause of death was combined drug intoxication involving cocaine and heroin, a drug combination known as a speedball. In the early morning hours on the day of his death, he was visited separately by friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, as well as Catherine Evelyn Smith. His death was investigated by forensic pathologistMichael Baden, among others, and, while the findings were disputed, it was officially ruled a drug-related accident.

Belushi’s wife arranged for a traditional Orthodox Christian funeral which was conducted by an Albanian Orthodox priest. He is interred at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard. His tombstone has a skull and crossbones with the inscription, “I may be gone but Rock and Roll lives on”. His mother’s tombstone at Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois, has Belushi’s name inscribed on it and thus serves as a cenotaph.