John Adam Belushi

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Faces of John Belushi

If there is anything you would want to be “Lampooned” with, there was no better comedic talent that the genius that was John Adam Belushi.

Belushi was born to Adam Anastos Belushi and Agnes Demetri on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois on Monday, 24 Jan. 1949.

With an “intense energy and raucous attitude,” Belushi found the best mechanism to express his talents was comedic sketch routines. As an original cast member on the long running NBC comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” found the ideal vehicle for expressing that pent-up-talent.

The first time The Blues Brothers performed on “Saturday Night Live,” there was an initial expectation the set would have incorporated comedic overtones.

Little did audience members realise the depth of commitment Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had to bringing their musician characters Jake and Elwood Blues, respective.

Even though there is no doubt Belushi will be remembered for playing John Blutarsky in the classic 1978 Landis directed “Animal House,” but his musical exploits will be forever cherished.

First appearing on “Saturday Night Live” on 17 Jan. 1976, put to bed any doubts people had of the performer’s abilities to express themselves musically. This was no passing phase the comedians were experiencing.

The apparent exhilaration Belushi and Aykroyd felt when performing these characters transcended a typical SNL skit. The band made its second and third SNL appearance on 22 April and 18 Nov. 1978, respectively.

It was in one of their 1978 performances, as The Blues Brothers, Belushi and Aykroyd performed “Soul Man.”

Exposed to the world as serious musicians, The Blues Brothers made the transition from SNL musical guests to the big screen in 1980.

Boosting the musical integrity of the production, in the John Landis directed film “The Blues Brothers,” there can be seen James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Steve Cropper, and Donald Dunn. The eagle-eyed observer will undoubtedly should have spotted Carrie Fisher, John Candy, Twiggy, Frank Oz, Cindy Fisher, Steven Spielberg and Mr. T.

On 5 March 1982, Belushi was found dead in his room at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont hotel, having been injected with a “speedball.” For people not familiar with the terminology, a “speedball” a mixture of heroin and cocaine.

In 2004, 22-years after the actor’s death, Belushi was posthumously honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In addition to Belushi, other entertainment professionals born on this day include:

For a more comprehensive list of entertainment professionals born on 24 January, click the provided link.

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