Judy Belushi-Pisano Dies at 73: Widow of John Belushi Passes Away

Judy Belushi-Pisano Dies at 73: Widow of John Belushi Passes Away

Judy Belushi-Pisano, the widow of the iconic comedian John Belushi, passed away on Friday at the age of 73. Her death was confirmed on the official John Belushi Facebook page and reported by The Martha’s Vineyard Times, which noted that she had been battling cancer.

Judy Belushi-Pisano was a significant figure in the entertainment industry, known for her roles in “The Blues Brothers,” “Animal House,” “Nothing Lasts Forever,” and “All Downhill From Here.” She also served as a producer on projects like “The Best of John Belushi” and “John Belushi: Dancing on the Edge.” Her creative contributions, particularly alongside Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, were instrumental in the creation of The Blues Brothers, a cultural phenomenon that continues to resonate.

Born Judy Jacklin on January 7, 1951, she met John Belushi at Wheaton High School, where they began dating. She later attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign but left to move to an Old Town apartment with Belushi, who was honing his comedic skills at Second City. The couple married in 1976 and remained together until John Belushi’s untimely death from a drug overdose in 1982.

After John Belushi’s death, Judy dedicated herself to preserving his legacy. She authored a biography titled “Belushi” and organized events like Joliet’s 2021 Blues Brothers Con. She was also involved in the 2020 Showtime documentary “John Belushi,” which provided an in-depth look at her late husband’s life and career.

In 1990, Judy married producer and director Victor Pisano, though they divorced in 2010. Despite the personal challenges she faced, Judy remained a beloved figure in the entertainment community. Singer Stephen Bishop expressed his condolences on social media, highlighting her unwavering love for John Belushi and her kindness over the years. “She was always kind to me and stayed in touch through the years. I so enjoyed seeing her at Animal House reunions. My memories of her are filled with warmth and affection. I’ll always cherish them,” Bishop wrote.

Judy Belushi-Pisano’s life was marked by her dedication to her husband’s memory and her own creative endeavors. She was a producer on numerous Blues Brothers-related projects and was slated to serve as an executive producer on an animated Blues Brothers show. Her work ensured that John Belushi’s legacy and the Blues Brothers brand would continue to thrive.

Her passing has left a void in the hearts of those who knew her. “Today, our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to our sweet Judy,” read a post on the official John Belushi Instagram account. “Her unwavering dedication and creative genius alongside Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi gave birth to The Blues Brothers, a timeless testament to the power of music and laughter. As we bid farewell, we pledge to continue her work, ensuring that John’s legacy, and the Blues Brothers will never fade.”

R.J. Cutler, the writer-director and executive producer of the “Belushi” documentary, praised Judy’s fearless and down-to-earth nature. “I couldn’t have loved working with Judy more when we made ‘Belushi.’ She was smart, funny, wise, honest, and a blast to spend time with,” Cutler told Variety. “And talk about fearless. Collaborating with Judy was one of the great experiences of my career, as knowing her stimulated your mind, lifted your spirit, and filled your heart. May her memory be a great blessing.”

Judy Belushi-Pisano was also active in the arts community on Martha’s Vineyard, where she spent much of her later years. She hosted events like a screening of “John Belushi: Dancing on the Edge” to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and a show with Dan Aykroyd to benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.

Her passing has been met with an outpouring of grief and tributes from friends and colleagues. “There was no one like her. Judy made everyone feel loved,” read a statement from John Belushi’s estate. “She was nonjudgmental, light, funny, and pure. You could be truly yourself around her, that alone was a gift.”

Judy Belushi-Pisano is survived by her children and grandchildren, who will carry her love and legacy forward. Her contributions to the entertainment industry and her dedication to preserving John Belushi’s memory have left an indelible mark on those who knew her and the countless fans who admired her work.

Source: The Martha’s Vineyard Times, Variety, CBS News

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