Jim Belushi Biography

Jim Belushi photo

Born: June 15, 1954


Date of Birth: June 15, 1954

Jim Belushi was born in Chicago to a mother and father of Albanian descent and raised in the suburb of Wheaton, Illinois. He was the third of four children, one of his siblings being comedic writer-actor John Belushi. John won an Emmy before tragically dying of a drug overdose in 1982.

As a teen, Jim was known for rebellious, mischievous behavior. He channeled that, however, in high school. While delivering a speech, he relied on an impressive set of improv skills and was encouraged by a teacher to join a school play. He did and quickly learned how many girls were in the drama club. He saw this as an opportunity to interact with the opposite sex and immediately joined.

Jim graduated from high school and attended the College of DuPage but transferred to South Illinois University where he earned a degree in speech and theater arts. He joined Chicago's Second City improv troupe in 1977 and stayed with them for three years. While performing with the troupe during his three-year stint, he was spotted by legendary writer-director-producer Garry Marshall. Garry was taken by what Jim delivered and arranged to have him travel to Hollywood to co-star in the pilot for the series Who's Watching the Kids. He played Bert Gunkel in the show for 11 episodes. In 1978, Jim also won a minor part in his first feature film. He played a beach bum in Fury, which starred Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes and Carrie Snodgress.

Jim's performance on Who's Watching the Kids led to a nine-episode stint on Working Stiffs in 1979, alongside Michael Keaton. Jim played Ernie O'Rourke in the series. In 1981, he earned a part in the crime drama Thief with James Caan and Willie Nelson before playing a one-episode guest role in 1982 on the highly popular, Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated series Laverne & Shirley.

The following year, he became a regular player on Saturday Night Live. It was a critical gig for Jim, who stayed with the series until 1985 and worked on a total of 33 episodes. For his work, he was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program in 1984.

Jim received national attention with the 1986 motion picture About Last Night.... He played Bernie in the romcom, which co-starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The same year, he also starred in Jumpin' Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg and the Oscar-nominated Little Shop of Horrors.

In 1988, Jim teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger for Red Heat and followed that up with a steady string of performances in various films, including Wedding Band (1989), Mr. Destiny (1990) and Curly Sue (1991). He reunited with Arnold for the 1993 action adventure Last Action Hero and stayed busy in 1995 with roles in the comedy Destiny Turns on the Radio with Dylan McDermott, the comedy Canadian Bacon with John Candy and Alan Alda and the mystery film Separate Lives with Linda Hamilton.

In 1996, Jim began work on the TV series Mighty Ducks, playing Phil Palmfeather. It was a role he'd step into over 23 episodes, ending in 1997. Also in 1996, he shared the screen with Halle Berry in the comedy Race the Sun.

In 1997, Jim played Jake in eight episodes of The Blues Brothers Animated Series and played opposite Rob Lowe in Living in Peril. He also joined forces with Tupac Shakur in the same year for the crime drama Gang Related, as well as Wag the Dog with Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Heche. The latter film was nominated for two Academy Awards.

In the long-running Emmy-nominated According to Jim, he played a character with whom he shared his first name. From 2001 to 2009, Jim acted in the popular show, appearing in a total of 182 episodes.

Jim has also lent his voice to several animated features, including Hoodwinked! with Anne Hathaway and Glenn Close and The Wild with Kiefer Sutherland and Eddie Izzard.

When According to Jim ended its long run, Jim continued in TV with the 2010 series The Defenders. He played Nick Morelli in 18 episodes, ending his run in 2011. The same year, he reunited with Garry Marshall for the star-studded feature film New Year's Eve.

In 2016 Jim acted in the drama The Whole Truth with Keanu Reeves, Renée Zellweger and Gugu Mbatha-Raw; the crime thriller The Hollow Point with Patrick Wilson and Ian McShane; the drama Katie Says Goodbye with Olivia Cooke and Mary Steenburgen; and the Virginia Madsen and Kathy Najimy comedy A Change of Heart.

Upcoming projects include the TV movie Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie, the reboot of the iconic series Twin Peaks and a currently untitled Woody Allen period drama with Kate Winslet, Juno Temple and Justin Timberlake. All are expected in 2017.

Jim has a son Robert from his first marriage to Sandra Davenport, which lasted from 1980 to 1988. He wed Marjorie Bransfield in 1990, but they divorced just two years later. Finally, he married Jennifer Sloan in 1998 and has been with her since. The pair have a daughter named Jamison and a son named Jared. Jim and Jennifer currently live in Los Angeles, but enjoy time at their home on Martha's Vineyard as well as their vacation cabin by the Rouge River in Oregon.

In 2006, Jim released a book that has been called "a guy's guide to life" titled Real Men Don't Apologize.


A Change of Heart (2016)
Katie Says Goodbye (2016)
The Hollow Point (2016)
The Whole Truth(2016)
Home Sweet Hell(2015)
The Secret Lives of Dorks(2013)
New Year's Eve(2011)
The Ghost (2010)
The Wild(2006)
Hoodwinked! (2005)
Pinocchio (2002)
Snow Dogs(2002)
Joe Somebody(2001)
Wag the Dog(1997)
Gang Related(1997)
Living in Peril (1997)
Race the Sun (1996)
Separate Lives (1995)
Canadian Bacon (1995)
Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)
Last Action Hero(1993)
Traces of Red (1992)
Curly Sue (1991)
Diary of a Hitman (1991)
Mr. Destiny (1990)
Wedding Band (1989)
Red Heat (1988)
Little Shop of Horrors(1986)
Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
About Last Night... (1986)
Thief (1981)
The Fury (1978)
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