Remembering John Belushi, 30 Years After his Death

By Mike Guy 03/05/12

The iconic comic passed away in 1982 after an extended coke binge at a Hollywood hotel.

Belushi as the King Bee

Thirty years ago, while he was holed up in a bungalow in West Hollywood's tony Chateau Marmont Hotel,  John Belushi single-handedly put the speedball on the map when he overdosed and died after injecting a lethal cocktail of cocaine and heroin. A Chicago-area native who made his name on the first seasons of Saturday Night Live, Belushi had been on an extended cocaine bender in LA for weeks, culminating in a small party in his bungalow that lasted into the morning of March 5.

During his four seasons on Saturday Night Live, Belushi was widely credited with revolutionizing sketch comedy, but he became really famous after playing  Bluto, the filthy party fiend who stole the show in 1975’s hit comedy Animal House. Later he starred as Jake Blues on The Blues Brothers. But mostly, he's remembered for pioneering the recurring role of the troubled, self-destructing overweight comedian, a la Chris Farley, Artie Lange, etc.

Belushi’s last party started at the Roxy on Sunset Boulevard, where he and his friends drank and snorted coke well into the evening. Eventually, he was joined by  Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, and the three repaired to bungalow #3, where Belushi had been living for several months. The actor was found at 12:30 in the afternoon by his personal trainer, William Wallace, who showed up for a scheduled appointment. EMTs pronounced the him dead 15 minutes later. He was just 33 years old. To this day, Bungalow 3 remains one of the Marmont's most in-demand suites.

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