Nature

Jim Belushi Aims High and Embraces Life on the Farm

By Leah Bemers - January 30, 2019

The Young James Belushi

Credits: Jim's initial stay in Chicago wasn't long, but the city has a big place in his heart.

James ‘Jim’ Belushi has come a long way from the gritty streets of Chicago where he was born on June 15, 1954, to his place in life now as a musician, actor and comedian with an ongoing successful career that spans four decades.

Despite his parents picking up the Belushi clan that consisted of four kids (including Jim’s older brother, actor and comedian John) and moving them to Wheaton, Illinois, Chicago would always play a major part in Jim’s life.

Trouble Follows the Creative Mind

Credits: Jim managed to get himself into trouble as a youngster, including twice being charged with possession.

It was during his teenage years at Wheaton Central High that Jim started to cross paths with local law enforcement, thanks in part to his natural propensity for rebellious shenanigans.

Belushi was a smart kid, but when a teenager’s idle mind is left to its own devices it’s not uncommon to find that trouble isn’t too far away. One of Jim’s teachers suggested he give acting a shot and audition for an upcoming school play.

Education First, Acting Second

Credits: He knew he wanted to be onstage, but Belushi also understood the importance of a decent education.

It was an experience that flipped all the right switches. Being onstage and entertaining an audience immediately became a highlight for the young man and not long after that first foray into the world of acting, Jim joined the school drama club.

Having officially been bit by the acting bug and steered in a new life direction, the next big step for Belushi was moving on to Southern Illinois University where he obtained a degree in Speech, Education and Theatre.

The Belushi Inner-Comedian Comes Out

Credits: Recently starring on television's "Twin Peaks," Jim honed his frequently called upon comedy chops at Chicago's Second City.

Still staying relatively close to his home territory, Belushi became a resident member of the legendary Second City improvisational comedy troupe. By 1979 he was on his way to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a working actor.

He began landing roles on television (including 1979’s “Working Stiffs” with Michael Keaton), and by 1983 he found himself writing and performing on the proverbia anchor of American late-night comedy, “Saturday Night Live.”

Hollywood Starts Knocking on the Door

Credits: "According to Jim" is the show many television audiences know Belushi from.

That experience led to Jim cementing his place as an in-demand character actor and dozens of television spots on shows like ‘Wild Palms,” “Beggars and Choosers” and “ER.” He also had the spotlight on him in his own ABC series, “According to Jim,” which ran from 2001 to 2009.

On top of this, there were numerous memorable turns in both comedic and serious roles on the big screen. These include “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Oliver Stone’s “Salvador.”

The Music Man

Credits: Jim has had numerous roles onstage in Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

It hasn’t always been acting that has lured Belushi to the stage, although with turns on Broadway in productions like “Pirates of Penzance” and the acclaimed “Conversations with My Father” you can understand why he might not need to look for other creative outlets.

His Chicago roots helped infuse in him a love of the blues, and as a musician he is probably best known for his place beside Dan Akroyd in the Blues Brothers.

Belushi's Big Change of Direction

Credits: Why not buy a farm in Oregon?

As someone who has displayed a love for pushing himself in different artistic directions and never wanting to step back from a challenge, it should come as no surprise that Belushi has thrown his hat into a new venture that might catch some people off guard:

Farming.

Now, at the age of 64, he can frequently be found on the grounds of his 93-acre commercial operation near Eagle Point, Oregon, fittingly called Belushi’s Farm.

A Dream is Born

Credits: It may have his name on it, but it's not just Jim that keeps things running smoothly.

Belushi’s Farm came to be after Jim built Ashland Elks Lodge along the banks of Oregon’s Rogue River, an experience documented in the 2015 series “Building Belushi.” After a close friend and cattle-farming neighbor passed away, he purchased her nearby land and rustic buildings.

While the farm and its crops serve a vital purpose in helping those with health afflictions and medical needs, it is also a place that has taken on a deep role in Belushi’s life.

Going All-Natural

Credits: Every day is a learning experience on the farm and Belushi loves every single moment of it.

“In the winter, a neighbor down the street brings 40 to 45 pregnant cows to graze on the property and deliver their sweet calves on this sacred land. This thrilling sight is only part of the spiritual events this property provides,” says Belushi of just one of the many reasons he feels an inner connection with the property.

For him, it’s opened a window to a world where people can heal naturally, free from addictive side affect-laden pharmaceutical drugs.

A Positive Choice Made for Everyone

Credits: Farming might not have been part of his plans when he left Chicago to pursue acting, But Jim Belushi definitely isn't complaining.

Belushi didn’t always know what he was going to do with the farm, and purchasing the land was a bit of a leap of faith. He debated opening it up for cattle, or growing alfalfa.

However, being in Oregon offers Belushi’s Farm an opportunity to give back to the global community something positive, healthy and different. With seven greenhouses now producing crops that do just that, Jim says, ”I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been led to the Rogue River and be a part of this agricultural and healing circle of life.”

Watch more about Belushi’s Farm: