The Last Days Of John Belushi: The SNL Star's Tragic End

By Jacob Shelton
John Belushi in January 1981. Source: (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Despite his infectious comic persona John Belushi, veteran of Saturday Night Live and star of Animal House and The Blues Brothers, lived a drug filled, depraved life in the spotlight. By all accounts he was great guy, but in the grips of drugs and alcohol he spiraled out of control and went into a darkness from which he never returned. His final week plays out like a Fellini film, with strange characters keeping the star up at all hours of the night as he navigates the streets of Hollywood in a drugged out haze.

Belushi was at the height of his career in 1982, which is a dangerous place. Everyone wants to be your friend, and nobody wants to tell you no. Belushi needed someone to tell him to take a break, step away from the party, or at least show down. Much of his final week was spent on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and in the Chateau Marmont, the decrepit, dank castle where celebrities once went to hide out and get up to no good.