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.