On March 4, 1982, John Belushi, Smith, and former SNL writer Nelson Lyon spent the evening partying together. The trio ingested massive quantities of liquor and snorted even larger quantities of cocaine. They stumbled all over West Hollywood looking for the next party and ended up at the secret nightclub above The Roxy called On The Rox. From there, they walked next door to The Rainbow Room and ate. Belushi had a bowl of lentil soup. He began to feel nauseous and asked Smith to take him back to his room at the Chateau Marmont.
According to Smith, Belushi asked her to shoot him up with a needle full of drugs several times that night. Belushi, who was deathly afraid of needles, seemed to like the high, she claimed. While the couple sat around in a dazed state, two famous persons stopped by to see them. Comedian Robin Williams popped in and snorted a few lines of coke, but was creeped out by Smith. He thought she was a little too crusty for Belushi and wondered what he was doing with this lowlife. Williams bolted and told Belushi, "If you ever get up again, call." Sometime after 3:00 AM, actor Robert DeNiro knocked on Belushi's door. He had been playing tag with Belushi all night. The scene inside the room was not pretty, so DeNiro decided to not stick around.
The next morning, John Belushi's personal trainer, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, attempted to check on his friend. When he received no answer on the telephone, he went over to Belushi's bungalow. Inside, he found his friend in the fetal position on the bed, sheets twisted, and a pillow over his head. When Wallace threw the pillow aside, he saw Belushi's tongue sticking out of his mouth and a horrid discoloration of his body on one side where all of his blood had settled. Wallace attempted to resuscitate Belushi but to no avail. Belushi was dead.
Three nights before he died he was on LaCienega Blvd. near Wilshire., just bordering Beverly Hills. He was with a cab driver who gave an interview. It was late at night. They were sitting at a counter at a sandwich shop, and there was a newspaper there. They both were looking at it, and he asked Belushi, "Which part do you want, 'Sports,' 'Entertainment," or 'El Salvador'" And Belushi said: "I want El Salvador." He went on to say that he hated what he read in the news, that he hated Hollywood, that they're a "bunch of pricks. I want to get back to New York City." And he said that he wanted to stay there.
They went to Belushi's car, where he had a lot of cocaine in the glove compartment. But the driver said Belushi was unhappy, fearful of his environment, that he wanted to get back [to New York]. I think that about describes it. There was another article published about him, that he didn't want to stay in Hollywood. The last night before he died, Belushi said: "I'm going home to Judy tomorrow" – that's his wife in New York – "I want to get out of here."
Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner cultivated a false image of Belushi's off screen persona as a drunk and drugged up slob.
The papers reported that John Belushi died alone in bed, nude, in a fetal position. Lieutenant Dan Cook of the LAPD said, "it appears to be natural causes. There were dark blotches on his arms caused when blood starts to settle, and not by needles." That was the first report. Then the police said it appeared he choked on his tongue.
John Belushi died on Friday. On Saturday there were more articles about food, choking, natural causes. Heart attack was a possibility. No sign of drug usage. The hotel clerk said his heart evidently failed him. The room was neat, the actor in bed, his clothes neatly folded as though he had gone to sleep for the night. There was nothing out of order, "no reason to suspect foul play."
He was in good health the night before, according to witnesses.
By Sunday, Los Angeles coroner Thomas Naguchi - the controversial Naguchi who was fired after this case – was telling reporters, "the cause of death has not yet been determined. Discounting his lifestyle, he seems to have choked on food." – that was the San Francisco Examiner (March 7). He was at the Roxy nightclub the night before he died, and the owner of the club said that he hadn't taken any drugs.