James Belushi was born June 15, 1954 in Chicago. The 3rd of four children born to Albanian immigrants, Adam and Agnes. Jim grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. He will admit that he wasn't the ideal law-abiding youth and ran into his fair share of trouble with the law. Which may account for his ability to play cop characters quite well. A high school teacher, impressed by Jim's improvisational skills while giving speeches, convinced Jim to to be in a school play. After that he joined the school's drama club. Today if asked why he got involved in acting, he will jokingly say "Because of girls. In the drama club, there were about 20 girls and six guys. And the same thing with choir....more girls!".
He attended the College of Dupage and Southern Illinois University where he graduated with a degree in Speech and Theater Arts. In 1977, Jim joined Chicago's Second City improv troupe for three years. In 1979, Garry Marshall saw Jim performing for 2nd City and arranged for him to come to Hollywood and co-star in the TV Pilot "Who's Watching the Kids" for Paramount, and then for a role in the television show "Working Stiffs" (co-starring Michael Keaton). Later, in 1983, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for 2 years.
Jim came to national attention through his role in the film "About Last Night", playing the role he originated in the Chicago Apollo Theatre's production of David Mamet's Obie-award winning play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago".
He has come a long way from 2nd City, SNL, and his early role in the TV series "Working Stiffs". He has played an array of characters, such as a mentally handicapped man in "Homer and Eddie" , a high school principal who defies a drug dealer in "The Principal" , a happy-go-lucky escaped convict who poses as a high-powered executive in "Takin' Care of Business", and recently as a corrupt police detective caught in a dangerous web of deceit in "Gang Related" . As his popularity grew over the years, so did his roles in film, theater, and television.
He resides in Los Angeles with his wife - Jennifer; son - Robert ( '81 from a previous marriage); daughter - Jamison ('99) and Jared (Feb 02). He not only keeps busy acting in films and is an investor in the House of Blues, but also performs with his band, the Sacred Hearts. Jim is currently starring in his own sitcom, titled According to Jim, that can be seen on ABC on Tuesdays.