James Belushi bigraphy, stories - An American actor

James Belushi : biography

15 June 1954 -

James Adam Belushi was born in Chicago on 6th June of 1954. His parents, Adam and Agnes Belushi, had immigrated to the United States from Albania. By the time James was born they had already got to restaurants open and two children born – John and Marian. They had great hopes about the second son, supposing him to become the head of the family business with the lapse of time. They didn’t expect anything else from James, but bringing fame to Belushi family as his elder brother, John, achieved that goal in 1973, becoming one of the best comedy actors of Hollywood at the age of twenty-four.

Unfortunately for the father, neither the elder son, nor James was suited to become the head of the restaurants. Everything his parents could show I order to demonstrate his talents and achievements were numerous arrest warrants and writs. Lloking at the mirror, James could only see a fat, short and ugly young man that was why he drew attention by a simple but effective way: making petty larceny, starting fights and hijacking. John Belushi was known by sight by all people of Chicago and young James Belushi was known by every policeman. However, all the professional inclinations of the young hooligan belonged to some other area, because he was fatally unlucky in all his outrageous actions.

Finally, James Belushi realized that he had no hopes to become famous as a gangster. That was the reason he decided to follow his brother steps. By that time John was already giving performances in clubs with his comedy programs. The boy entered an actors’ club and the school choir. To his own surprise he became very popular in those clubs. No wonder, there were only six boys among twenty girls in the dramatic club. And it was still worseу in the school choir, even forty girls and eight boys. But the most pleasant part was the housekeeping club where James Belushi was the single boy. In That club he met his future wife, Sandra Davenport, for the first time.

By the time James Belushi was finishing school, he had made up his mind that he was to be an actor. His father let him study dramatic art in the University of South Illinois with a deep sigh, shifting his hopes from James to his younger brother Billy.

The young actor came to national audience attention with the help of his role in Edward Zwick's movie "About Last Night" with Demi Moore and Rob Lowe starring. James was playing the role that he originated at the Chicago Apollo Theatre's production.

While James Belushi was studying in the University he was noticed by Garry Marshall, a television producer. The producer offered his to take part in the series “Who’s watching the kids”. Belushi was offered a role of a ladies’ man. The first one to learn the happy news was John Belushi, he came to his brother James, saying that was the time for James to overpower his brother as an actor. By the way, by that time James Belushi was already 178 centimeters tall.

Having graduated from the University, James Belushi had to face a very serious problem. The problem was that nobody thought James to be an independent actor. All directors and producers saw him as a similar comedy actor to his brother John. Of course there were some benefits of the situation; because James Belushi could take the roles which his brother refused to accept. However such state frustrated James very much. But James Belushi was not to remain his brother’s double. In March of 1982 John Belushi died because of the drugs overdose. James Belushi was informed about his brother’s death while he was giving a performance, in spite of the fact the show continued and the audience kept laughing, not noticing the actor’s state. Not taking into account all the offences and conflicts, James and John were brothers. And the news of the death was a real strike for James Belushi.

The beginning of 1982 was quite successful for James: he was given a role in a popular fairy-tale television series “Faerie Tale Theatre's” in the third season. But besides working for the series, James had to take of his brother in the weekly comic show “Saturday Night Live”. That television show had very high rates, so, taking part in it was quite a big step for James Belushi career and financial state. But James understood that the luck he was having was brought by the tragedy and the fact that he was alike his brother. It seemed to him that the similarity grew more and more evident, revealing in almost everything. James also started to think that he was going to die young just the same as his brother. The gloomy thought caused James’s drinking a lot of alcohol. Pretty soon he began to come to work being drunk and his reputation worsened. Soon after that the divorce with his wife Sandra followed. She left him and took son Robert away.

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