July 19, 2024

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Producer and widow of John Belushi was 73 years old.

Producer and widow of John Belushi was 73 years old.

Judy Belushi Pisano, the widow of legendary comedian John Belushi who spent decades preserving and protecting his legacy, died Friday after a long battle with cancer. She was 73.

News of Pisano’s death was The MV Times news newspaper reported on Saturday: Covering the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where Pisano spent most of her final years, her death was also confirmed on John Belushi’s official Instagram account.

Pisano was married to Belushi, star of “Saturday Night Live,” “Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers,” from 1973 until his death from an overdose in 1982. Pisano endured Belushi’s worst betrayals and struggles with addiction, yet she has devoted much of her life to honoring his memory. She has been a producer on several recent Blues Brothers-related projects and starred in the 2020 Showtime documentary “John Belushi.”

John Belushi is buried on Martha’s Vineyard. Pisano first came to the island off the coast of Massachusetts in 1974 on the advice of a friend, according to the MV Times.

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“Today, our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to our beloved Judy. Her unwavering dedication and creative genius, along with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, gave birth to The Blues Brothers, a timeless testament to the power of music and laughter,” Belushi wrote in an Instagram post. “In the years since John’s death in 1982, Judy has honored his life, championed his legacy, and championed the Blues Brothers brand. As we say goodbye, we pledge to continue her work, ensuring that the legacy of John and the Blues Brothers will never fade. There was no one like her. Judy made everyone feel loved. She was non-judgmental, lighthearted, funny, and pure. You could truly be yourself around her, and that alone was a gift.”

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Pisano worked as a radio producer in New York in the mid-1970s when her husband’s star began to rise with his work with the Second City comedy troupe and when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975. She had uncredited roles in two successful Belushi films, “Animal House” in 1978 and “The Blues Brothers” in 1980. In 1990, she married Victor Pisano, but the marriage ended in divorce in 2010.

According to the MV Times, Pisano was active in the arts on the island and often hosted Blues Brothers-related events. “On the island, she held a screening of ‘John Belushi: Dancing on the Edge’ to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and a performance with Daniel Aykroyd, another Blues Brother, to benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Theatre,” the MV Times reported.