Judith Belushi Pisano, actress and widow of John Belushi, dies at 73

Belushi Pisano — who appeared in "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers" and was also a producer — devoted years to protecting her late husband's legacy.

Judith “Judy” Belushi Pisano, the actress, producer, and widow of legendary comedian John Belushi, has died. She was 73.

A post to Belushi’s official social media pages, accompanied by photos of the couple together over the years, confirmed the news of Belushi Pisano’s death.

“Today, our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to our sweet Judy,” read the Saturday post. “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. In the years following John’s passing in 1982, Judy honored his life and championed his legacy and Blues Brothers brand.”

<p>Vince Bucci/Getty</p> Judy Belushi Pisano

Vince Bucci/Getty

Judy Belushi Pisano

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The statement continued, “As we bid farewell, we pledge to continue her work, ensuring that John’s legacy and The Blues Brothers will never fade. There was no one like her. Judy made everyone feel loved. She was nonjudgmental, light, funny, and pure. You could be truly yourself around her — that alone was a gift. The Belushi and Pisano families will carry your love in their hearts forever.”

Belushi Pisano’s death was also reported by The Martha's Vineyard Times. She spent many of her later years on the Massachusetts island.

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Her friend, musician Stephen Bishop, who appeared in both The Blues Brothers and Animal House, shared his own tribute on Instagram, alongside an image of him with the late couple.

"I have fond memories of working and hanging out with Judy and John,” he wrote. “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."

Belushi Pisano first crossed paths with John while attending high school in Wheaton, Ill. They married in 1973.

In the mid-’70s, Belushi would experience a meteoric rise to fame as he found success with the Second City comedy troupe and was tapped to be part of the inaugural cast of Saturday Night Live. At the time, Belushi Pisano worked as a New York City radio producer, but she would later have uncredited roles in Belushi’s two blockbuster comedy hits, Animal House and The Blues Brothers. The couple were also known to host SNL after-parties at their home during Belushi’s five-year tenure on the show.

<p>Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection</p> John Belushi and Judith Belushi-Pisano in 'Animal House'

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

John Belushi and Judith Belushi-Pisano in 'Animal House'

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The couple remained together until Belushi’s death from a drug overdose in 1982. She later married Victor Pisano in 1990 before filing for divorce two decades later, in 2010.

Belushi Pisano devoted many years to protecting and preserving her late husband's legacy, including serving as a producer on The Best of John Belushi and the documentary John Belushi: Dancing on the Edge.

"John wasn't perfect," Judy told PEOPLE in a 2020 interview. "But he was a full human being — caring and adventurous and kind. And he not only made people laugh, he made them feel."

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