John Belushi’s final days was a forecast of his end to come, as foreshadowed by his wild nights and heavy cocaine usage at the infamous hotel Chateau Marmont, which will forever be associated with the comedian and actor’s demise.
The tragic death of comedian-actor John Belushi had press swarming the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California, on March 5, 1982. At age 33, Hollywood lost one of it’s rising comedians to an overdose of cocaine and heroin, better known as “speedball” combined.
DECADE OF DECADENCE
Hollywood in the early ‘80s was much more intense than that of the Hollywood we know today, given the fact that illicit drugs became pervasive, especially when it involved late night hours shooting films on set.
Belushi was no different from the other users who comprised the industry, although noticeably, his appetite for cocaine, alcohol, and food was more substantial and more apparent than most, which manifested during his “The Blues Brothers” days.
“We had a budget in the movie for cocaine for night shoots,” Dan Aykroyd spoke about the film to Vanity Fair in 2012. “Everyone did it, including me. Never to excess, and not ever to where I wanted to buy it or have it. [But] John, he just loved what it did. It sort of brought him alive at night -- that superpower feeling where you start to talk and converse and figure you can solve all the world’s problems.”
THE FINAL DAYS
On February 28, 1982, Belushi checked in his favorite bungalow No.3 at the Chateau Marmont where he presented himself “a time bomb, a waste site, a mess. Sweaty, flabby, edge, pale, disheveled, worn to a stump at age 33” as described in “The Castle on Sunset” Life, Death, Love, Art and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont” by Shawn Levy.
Most of his days were spent bouncing from one party to the next at the Sunset Strip, including his bungalow being a place to crash after clubs came to a close. His friends, Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, also made their way to see their pal and drop by the different clubs in sight.
WINE BOTTLES AND PIZZA BOXES
De Niro and fellow actor, Harry Dean Stanton, dropped by bungalow no. 3 on the evening of March 4 to insist that Belushi join them for dinner at Dan Tana’s followed by a night at Sunset Strip’s exclusive club, On the Rox.
The two found Belushi and Cathy Smith, an addict, and dealer who supplied and administered shots to the comedian, inebriated and intoxicated with empty wine bottles and pizza boxes in a room filled with dirty laundry.
Belushi declined, and so the actors left to meet Williams, who will have a spontaneous performance at The Comedy Store, before going back to the bungalow alone.
Wallace found the actor lifeless on the bed and immediately tried CPR, yet his efforts could not revive a person who already stopped breathing.
Williams, like De Niro, found the two in a drunken state and left after a short conversation and a bit of cocaine. De Niro also made his way to the bungalow but only stayed a while. It was reported that Belushi and Smith continued injecting themselves with a cocaine and heroin mix.
“De Niro, too, stopped in at the bungalow, entering through the sliding glass patio door. He had a few words and a few lines and then took some of the cocaine that was piled on the living room table and went back to his suite,” Levy wrote.
According to Wired, Smith left the bungalow around 10 in the morning, leaving Belushi asleep, and taking the spoon and syringe they used the night before.
MARCH 5, 1982
A delivery was made by Bill Wallace, physical trainer and at times bodyguard of Belushi, to his bungalow which he had access too.
Wallace found the actor lifeless on the bed and immediately tried CPR, yet his efforts could not revive a person who already stopped breathing. By the time an ambulance and EMT’s came, Belushi was already long gone.
“They didn't even try to defibrillate him; he was, as Wallace had declared, gone. They called for the medical examiner, but they saw the needle marks on Belushi's arms: They knew he had died of an overdose,” Levy wrote.
A CONSTANT BATTLE
Many among those in the industry succumb to illegal drugs to fight their personal demons, but the battle only begins once they lose control of something that can take over their lives. A recent celebrity who faced an overdose is actress-singer Demi Lovato, who was once the champion of the kids.
Last year, the singer suffered an almost fatal overdose after she “bought oxycodone from the dealer and smoked it from a piece of tin foil,” reports Inquisitr.
Further investigation revealed fentanyl mixed with the drug, causing a slowdown in Lovat’s breathing and leading her to an unconscious state.