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These Unlikely Celebrities Were the Last to See John Belushi Alive

Legendary comedian and actor John Belushi died tragically, and far too young. He was known not only for his innate comedic timing, his energetic personality, and, sadly, his excess of alcohol and drug use. He was a star on the rise when he died, having achieved fame through his performances on SNL and in movies like Animal House and The Blues Brothers. But his life was ended after a long period of depression and overindulgence. But there are some interesting twists to the story that you might not have heard before. Join Facts Verse, as we present: These Unlikely Celebrities Were the Last to See John Belushi Alive

The Tell All Book

In 2019, author and historian Shawn Levy published a book called “The Castle on Sunset” that chronicled the life and untimely death of John Belushi at the famed Chateau Marmont. The novel is reportedly also in development as an HBO show, produced and written by John Krasinski and Aaron Sorkin. In it, Levy outlines the days leading up to Belushi’s overdose at the Chateau, as well as details about the night of the tragic death. Belushi, who was only 33 at the time of his death on March 5, 1982, was well known to be a huge partier who also enjoyed the company of prostitutes. Levy’s book chronicles the sad and yet strangely predictable nature of Belushi’s death. It seems that people in John’s life were well aware of what a dangerous existence he was living. Yet there were plenty of people around him who either enabled this behavior, or didn’t do enough to stop it. Levy’s book also tells of the close celebrity friends who were among the last few people to see John Belushi alive.

The Celebrities in Question

According to Levy’s book, on the night of Belushi’s death, he was visited by two other huge stars. Robert De Niro and Robin Williams reportedly both stop by Belushi’s bungalow on the night March 5th. But it wasn’t simply to say hi. Apparently these two megastars were also interested in snorting some cocaine with Belushi in his room. Of course, if Belushi hadn’t died that night, this wouldn’t be much of a notable occurrence. The drug culture and excesses of the 70s and 80s in Hollywood (and around the country) are well documented. So it likely wasn’t all that strange that De Niro and Williams were visiting Belushi and enjoying a party drug that was all the rage. And yet, the fact that Belushi died that night makes this a tragic and interesting bit of information. Especially because it makes people wonder about the nature of the relationships Belushi had with stars like these two. It’s easy to wonder whether or not they should have been able to see the trouble John was in, and potentially tried to get him help before it was too late.

The weeks before his death

Belushi was well known to have emotional and psychological issues, which is often seen in people with levels of creative genius. And John was susceptible to bouts of depression, especially when he felt that things weren’t going well in his career. Of course, his career was, all in all, going incredibly well. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t have bumps in the road. At the time, he’d just been in two movies – Continental Divide and Neighbors – that had underperformed at the box office and hadn’t been liked by critics. This sent Belushi into a funk that he was looking to get out of.

He decided to check into a Chateau Marmont bungalow on LA’s famous Sunset strip. While there, he intended to write a script that could potentially be his next movie – one that might get his career back in the right direction. Unfortunately, the process hadn’t been going very well. Belushi was struggling to write something that he liked, and the executives from Paramount who were awaiting his script were starting to get annoyed and anxious. This, in turn, made John feel more anxious. As a result, he returned to some of his usual vices, like drinking and drugs.

He spent much of his last week bouncing from club to club, and partying a ton. He repeatedly hit up a few of his favorite spots, like the Rainbow Bar and Grill and Dan Tana’s.

His wife felt he was getting better

Belushi’s wife, Judy, didn’t join him in LA as he tried to finish his script. Instead, she stayed in their NYC home, and would check in with him over the phone. According to Bob Woodward’s book, Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi, Judy actually got the impression that John’s mental state was improving. And while she knew of his rampant drug use and alcohol excesses, she felt slightly optimistic that he was making progress with his script. She told Woodward that his tone and attitude sounded to her more like frustration than depression. And while frustration certainly isn’t a positive vibe, it’s better than depression. So Judy had reason to believe that perhaps John’s stay at the Chateau Marmont was helping the comedian a bit. Sadly, this estimation couldn’t have been more wrong.

Belushi was also in touch with his manager, Bernie Brillstein, over the course of his final week. Brillstein later admitted that Belushi asking him for $1,500 at some point in the week. Belushi claimed it was to buy a new guitar, but Brillstein wasn’t fooled. He reportedly told Belushi flat out that he wouldn’t give him the money, because he knew he’d use it for drugs. Sadly, Belushi’s pestering ultimately caused Brillstein to cave, and he gave Belushi the money.

De Niro tried to help

While, as we said, Robert De Niro did stop by and snort coke with Belushi on the night of his death, it should be noted that De Niro did try to convince Belushi to leave the bungalow to clear his head. Apparently word had gotten out that Belushi was getting worse and worse while staying in the Chateau. His friends and colleagues were getting worried about him, and some felt that if they could convince him to leave the bungalow it might improve his mental state. Which, in turn, might cut down on his drinking and drug use. So De Niro arrived at Belushi’s bungalow on the evening of March 4th, with fellow actor Harry Dean Stanton. De Niro asked Belushi to join him at a club called On the Rox, hoping Belushi would be lured by a fun night out, and that this would take his mind off of the things making him depressed. However, De Niro knew right away that Belushi was unlikely to take him up on his offer. That’s because when he arrived, he found the bungalow in a state of utter chaos. Belushi had completely trashed the room. And there was a woman there, Cathy Smith, who was sitting amidst the many empty bottles of wine, food containers, and dirty clothes. De Niro later referred to Cathy as being a ‘dirty’ woman. After realizing that Belushi wasn’t going anywhere, De Niro decided to leave.

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De Niro Runs Into Robin Williams

The second celeb who saw Belushi on the night of his death was legendary comic Robin Williams. When Robert De Niro left Belushi’s bungalow at the Chateau Marmont, he apparently ran into Williams at On the Rox. He told Williams where he’d been, and how Belushi’s room and state of mind were both in a bad place. Williams agreed to go check in on Belushi in his room after he left the club. Williams delivered on that promise, stopping by Belushi’s room late in the night. The two apparently didn’t speak much, though they did some coke together. It seems that Williams felt there wasn’t much he could do to help either coax Belushi to leave the room, or to make him feel better. The two exchanged only a few words, and Williams helped himself to the coke that was lying on the table before leaving. According to Levy’s book, it was a little after 3 a.m. at this point.

The Next Morning

On the morning of the 5th, Belushi’s trainer and bodyguard, Bill Wallace, arrived at the Chateau to check in on Belushi. When he entered, he found the actor unconscious. Word quickly spread that something was awry. The press quickly gathered at the hotel, trying to get answers about what was going on sith Belushi. Sadly, the next thing they saw was his body being wheeled out by paramedics and brought to a coroner’s vehicle. He had died early that morning of an overdose after taking a “speedball” which is a mix of cocaine and heroin. De Niro had apparently heard of the rumor early in the morning and had been calling the room repeatedly, to no avail. When he did manage to reach the front desk, they informed him that wis friend was dead. De Niro realized that he and Robin Williams were among the last people to ever see him

Belushi alive.

Now it’s time to hear from you. Did you know about the visits from Robert De Niro and Robin Williams? Let us know in the comments section below. And before you go, be sure to give this video a like, and subscribe to Facts Verse if you haven’t already. Click the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest content.

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