James Belushi biography
Date of Birth: June 15, 1954
"I get great seats at restaurants and at sporting events. Wherever I go in the world, I'm never alone. I can always go someplace and have a great conversation. I have the greatest life invented!"
Born in Chicago, James Belushi considers his father, a restaurateur, one of the most charming men on the planet. "I'm studying him to find out how and why he is so charming. He was a hands-off dad. He let me do and be who I wanted to be, as long as I wasn't a bum."
Attending DuPage Junior College in Glen Ellyn, IL, followed by Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In both schools, Belushi majored in speech and theater. "I loved high school. I loved the action. I went out for football, wrestling, track, theater, and forensics. I hated missing school, like if I was home sick. College, too."
He then worked on stage in The Pirates of Penzance and True West. Like his brother John, he then joined the notorious Second City improvisational group. He also began making regular guest appearances on Saturday Night Live where his brother became famous.
In 1981, he made his feature film debut playing James Caan's calm partner in Thief. He began acting under John Landis, who also directed his brother, in Trading Places (1983). He continued playing supporting roles and some leads, but his big break came when he played a bad cop in 1988's Red Heat with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was equally popular in 1989's K-9.
A huge sports fan, Belushi also has a passion for cigars. Along with a few investors, he built a chain of retail cigar lounges in California. A few years later he was approached by international television icon, Chuck Norris, who wanted to create his own cigar. A few business deals later, Belushi and Norris were the proud fathers of the Lone Wolf Cigar.
Other interests include co-owning the House of Blues with Dan Aykroyd and occasionally performing concerts with the Sacred Hearts Blues Band.
Belushi has weathered some rough times over the years, including brother John's much-publicized death from a drug overdose in 1982 and his mother's death from cancer four years later. He has also had poor success with women. With his first two marriages ending in messy divorces, Belushi hopes that his present marriage to Jennifer Sloan, who bore him a daughter and a son, will have better results. He also has a child with first wife, Sondra.
Since 2001 he has starred in the hit ABC TV sitcom According to Jim, with Courtney Thorne-Smith playing his beleaguered wife.
James Belushi Filmography