Cathy Evelyn Smith, who gave John Belushi his fatal drugs, dies at 73

The sometime backup singer admitted injecting the actor with heroin and cocaine, and served prison time for involuntary manslaughter.

SHARE Cathy Evelyn Smith, who gave John Belushi his fatal drugs, dies at 73

Cathy Evelyn Smith makes a 1985 court appearance in connection with her role in the overdose death of John Belushi.


Catherine Evelyn Smith, who served time for her role in the overdose death of comedian John Belushi, has died at age 73, the Globe and Mail reports.

The Canadian newspaper said Smith, who lived in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, died Aug. 18.

Also a backup singer and the ex of musician Gordon Lightfoot, Smith became a figure of infamy as part of the small crowd that partied with Belushi at West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont in his final days, a coterie that also included Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. He died March 5, 1982, of an accidental overdose of heroin and cocaine — known as a “speedball.”

Later that year, Smith told the National Enquirer that she had injected the drugs before leaving the actor’s bungalow. “I killed John Belushi,” she said. “I didn’t mean to, but I am responsible.”

Arrested for second-degree murder, she plea-bargained for lesser charges including involuntary manslaughter and served a 15-month prison sentence in Chino, California.

Lightfoot, who lived with Smith for four years in the early ’70s, is said to have written his dark hit “Sundown” about their volatile relationship.

“Cathy was a great lady,” he told The Globe and Mail this week. “Men were drawn to her, and she used to make me jealous. But I don’t have a bad thing to say about her.”

Belushi, who grew up in Wheaton and performed at Chicago’s Second City, went on to an illustrious comedy career as an original “Saturday Night Live” cast member and star of movies including “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers.” He was a brother of actor and TV host Jim Belushi.

The Latest
Firefighters responded to the blaze at Universal Temple of Christ and Training School near 55th Street and Damen Avenue about 7:15 a.m. Saturday, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
The Resurrection Project is seeking a zoning change to allow a seven-story building with 98 units on Ashland Avenue, across from Benito Juarez Community Academy.
An NPR analysis in 2016 of which state best represents America found that Illinois is the clear winner, with demographic diversity and a broad cultural and geographic balance of rural, small-town, suburban and urban America.
The game will be rescheduled by the Big Ten, with input from both schools.
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.