Everyone knows that acting bread is difficult, and not everyone is given the ability to make the audience laugh. The combination of an unusual appearance, charm, rich facial expressions, and at the same time – routine, the ability to make not only laugh, but also cry, made James Belushi the leading comedian.
Childhood and youth
James Adam Belushi was born to a family of Albanian immigrants who owned the restaurant of Agnes and Adam Anastas Belushi in Chicago in June 1954. In the family, in addition to James, three more children were brought up – daughter Marian and sons Billy and John.
After graduating from Wheaton High School, Belushi was educated at Dupage College and at the acting department of the University of Southern Illinois. In an attempt to win female hearts, James attended a drama circle, sang in a school choir and even enrolled in cooking classes. At such courses, he later met his future wife Sandra Davenport. In order to attract attention, a boy who considered himself ugly committed theft on trifles, stole cars. But according to the recollections of Belusha himself, he was an unfortunate offender – he was known by all the Chicago police.
James Belushi decided to become an actor, including in spite of his brother John, who at that time was a famous Hollywood comedian. James as a child decided that he would not give in to his brother in anything and if possible surpass him. At a student performance, the future actor was noticed by producer Garry Marshall and invited to play the role of a womanizer in the television series Who Sits with Children. But for a long time, the directors perceived James as the shadow of a famous brother. The roles that went to him were roles that John refused.
In 1982, John Belushi died of an overdose of drugs. Depressed by heavy thoughts, James began to abuse alcohol. Unable to withstand such a situation, Sandra’s wife left, taking her son Robert. After the death of his mother, Belushi rushed to improve his reputation with filmmakers.
The road to Hollywood, James opened the role in the paintings of 1986 “The Shop of Horrors” about the flower-cannibal and in the military drama “Salvador”. The work of Oliver Stone, in which Belushi played the role of a doctor, was nominated for an Oscar in the categories of “Best Actor” and “Best Screenplay.” Barry’s role in the movie The Thief, which received conflicting responses – nominations for the Golden Raspberry and Golden Palm Branch of the Cannes Film Festival, is considered to be significant.
The films “Swapping places” (1983), “Director” (1987), “K-9” (1989, at the Russian box office – “Dog work”) became widely known. The latter was called by critics one of the best films from the series “Me and My Dog”, an incredible combination of comedy, “buddy movie”, action and animal films, and the audience was the best in the filmography of Belushi.
After filming in K-9, dogs appeared in the house of Belushi – two German Shepherd dogs Mack and King, who subsequently starred in the continuation of the trilogy K-911 (1999) and K-9. Private detectives ”(2002). James produced these films, but the paintings were not very popular and were released on video.
On the set of the crime action movie Red Heat (1988), James met with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set. The film about the joint investigation of the American police officer and the captain of the Soviet police turned out to be ambiguous, in some cases even funny.
In the film “Beautiful Life” in 1990, Belushi got the role of a car thief who escaped from prison, who accidentally managed to take the place of another person.
Further films with James came out almost every year. With varying degrees of success, shooting in Forget Palermo (1990), Curly Sue (1991), The Diary of an Assassin (1991), and The Bodyguard for Employment (1995) followed. The roles in the films Sahara (1995), Time Lapse (1997) were not at all comedic. “Abraxas is the Keeper of the Universe” (1991), “Once breaking the law” (1992), “Blood Trail” (1992) were demonstrated by Belushi as a characteristic actor.
The actor participated in the dubbing of the characters in the animated films The True Story of the Little Red Riding Hood (2005), Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King (2008), Hey Arnold! (1999), Timon and Pumbaa (1996), Dorothy from Oz countries ”(2013). In “True Story” he proved himself as a singer, performing the song The Schnitzel Song for the soundtrack.
Again, to work in the same frame with the dogs, James had to do in the children’s comedy Super Dog (2007). His voice was “spoken” by a dog nicknamed Demon in the 2002 comedy project Snow Dogs. The film, despite the cold reception of critics, collected more than $ 81 million at the box office, with a budget of $ 33 million.
Belushi’s filmography includes more than a hundred projects, including television series and shows. The most famous of them are Saturday Night Live, where James was a screenwriter, and the sitcom, As Jim Said, aired on ABC for eight seasons. In it, Belushi worked as a composer, director and producer.