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James Belushi – MovieActors.com

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Belushi in ABOUT LAST NIGHT.

About James Belushi (1954 – )

James Adam Belushi was born on June 15, 1954, into an Albanian family in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Adam Anastos Belushi, was a restaurant owner. His mother was Agnes Demetri, who probably helped in running Adam's business. James grew up in a Chicago suburb with his parents, his older brother, John, his middle brother, Billy, and his younger sister, Marian.

James Belushi 's older brother, John Belushi, was the famed actor and Blues Brother, who was seen in the hit movie, ANIMAL HOUSE, and THE BLUES BROTHERS. John died of a drug overdose in 1982.

It was in high school that a teacher noticed Jame's ability to give improvational speeches, and encouraged him to try out for the high school play, where he was bitten by the acting bug.

After graduating from Wheaton Central High School, James attended The College of DuPage, and then Southern Illinois University, where he graduated with a degree in Speech and Theatre Arts.

Like his older brother, John, James got his acting career off the ground by joining Chicago's Second City Improv Group in 1977; working on stage for three years. He left for Hollywood on invitation from TV producer, Gary Marshall, who saw him perform with Second City Improv Group.

The result of his move to Hollywood was getting a foot in the door by getting exposure in short-lived TV series. James was cast in the pilot of the 1978 sit-com, WHO IS WATCHING THE KIDS? This was followed up with a regular role in the actual series; WHO IS WATCHING THE KIDS?, as the supporting character, Bert Gunkel. The show lasted for eleven episodes; (1978-1979.)

James next was cast with co-star Michael Keaton in the short-lived, 1979 TV series, WORKING STIFFS. Nothing is listed under James' credits until 1981, which probably means that James went back to stage plays or improv theatre to pay the bills, and perhaps continued to keep his presence there, in between TV shows and films during his career.

One such play was Chicago Apollo Theatre's production of "Sexual Perversity in Chicago", which eventually led Jim to reprise his role in the screne version of this play, in the 1986 film, ABOUT LAST NIGHT.

In 1981, James Belushi made his film debut in THIEF, getting 4th billing as Barry, a supporting actor role.

After John died in 1982, James joined the SNL TV series cast in 1983, becoming part of the Not Ready for Primetime Players, and did some writing for them as well. He became friends with Dan Aykroyd, which led to a bit part as Harvey in Dan Aykroyd film, TRADING PLACES.

Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi co-own the House Of Blues clubs.

The exposure James got on SNL propelled his career into better roles in TV and film. He co-starred with Shuku Akune in the 1985 TV Movie, TAB LLOYD:INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER. In 1986, he was given second billing to James Wood, in Oliver Stone's 1986 film, SALVADOR.

In 1987, James got top billing, and co-starred with John Ritter in the 1987 action comedy film,
REAL MEN.

In 1988, James teamed up with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a cop-buddy, action crime, comedy film;RED HEAT. James and Arnold were in two other films together. In the LAST ACTION HERO, Belushi had a cameo appearance, and in JINGLE ALL THE WAY, James played a Mall Santa.

From 1989-1992, James was the star billing/co-star billing in such films as K-9, HOMER AND EDDIE, TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS, MR. DESTINY, CURLY SUE, and ONCE UPON A CRIME.

The mid-nineties brought lots of TV projects: TV series, the TV movie; THE GAIL O'GRADY PROJECT, and voicing characters in animated series. These paid the bills very nicely. A few movies were done, but were not of stellar quality: DESTINY TURNS ON THE RADIO.

Finally, in 1997, James got first billing, co-starring with Kylie Travis in the film, RETROACTIVE.

In 1999, James must of had fun playing a thief that stole money from his Mob bosses, in MADE MEN.

The hit series, ACCORDING TO JIM;(2001-2009), gave James Belushi the executive producer role and the title character of Jim. This show had a great cast of stars, including: Courtney Thorne-Smith as Cheryl, Kimberly Williams as Dana, Larry Joe Campbell as Andy and Taylor Atelian as Ruby. They all work so well together you really thought they were family.

During the long run of this series, James found the time to guest star on other TV series, such as GEORGE LOPEZ;(2005), FATHERHOOD;(2005) and ME, ELOISE; (2006).

James married Sandra Davenport on May 17th, 1980. They divorced in October of 1988. They had a son, Robert Belushi, who made his first movie, called RIFFRAFF; in 2009. Robert also made several guest appearances on his dad's series, ACCORDING TO JIM.

James' second try at marriage was with actress Marjorie Bransfield, whom he met in the film, K-9. They had a short marriage; from 1990-1992. The third time around was the charm. Jim married Jennifer Sloan on May 2nd, 1998. They have two children; daughter Jamison Bess;1999, and son Jared James;2002.

James Belushi continues to do some great animated voice work. Belushi was heard loud and clear as the Woodsman in HOODWINKED in 2005 and on the hit TV series; HEY ARNOLD. Belushi was the voice of Coach Jack Wittenberg.

So far, James Belushi has 140 film and TV credits to his name, not to mention stage productions.

James Belushi's notable movie credits include...

THE GHOST WRITER (2010)
SNOW BUDDIES (2008)
UNDERDOG (2007)
ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS VILLAGE (2007)
THE WILD (2006)
FARCE OF THE PENGUINS (2006)
HOODWINKED! (2005)
DYSENCHANTED (2004)
BEHIND THE SMILE (2004)
JOE SOMEBODY (2001)
GANG RELATED (1997)
JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996)
CURLY SUE (1991)
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (1990)
RED HEAT (1987)
SALVADOR (1986)
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986)
THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE (1985)
TRADING PLACES (1983)



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James Belushi in RED HEAT (1987).

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James Belushi in ABOUT LAST NIGHT (1986).

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James Belushi in SALVADOR (1986)