Jim Belushi

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Belushi in 2014, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: James Adam Belushi

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 15, 1954

Ethnicity: Albanian

Jim Belushi, also credited as James Belushi, is an American actor, comedian, singer, and musician. He is the brother of actor John Belushi.

His father, Adam Anastas Belushi, was an Albanian emigrant, born in Qytezë, Albania. His mother, Agnes Demetri (Samaras), was a first generation Albanian-American, born in Akron, Ohio. Jim has honorary Albanian citizenship. His family was Albanian Orthodox.

Jim is married to actress Marjorie Bransfield. He has a son, actor Robert Belushi, with his former wife, Sandra Davenport; and two children with Marjorie.

Jim’s paternal grandfather was named Anastas/Anastos A. Belliors/Bellios/Belushi.

Jim’s paternal grandmother was named Vasilo Manika.

Jim’s maternal grandfather was named Demetri/Dimitri/Dimitrios/Demetre George/Jorgi Samaras.

Jim’s maternal grandmother was named Anna D. Popa/Papajoseph. Jim’s maternal grandparents were born in Korçë, now in Albania, with roots in Ziçisht and Grapsh. Demetri and Anna spoke Greek, but it is not clear if they were ethnically Greek, or if they identified as such. They are usually described in biographical sources on the Belushis as Albanian.

Sources: Information about Jim’s ancestry – http://www.genealogywise.com

Genealogy of Jim Belushi – http://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Jim Belushi (through his brother, John Belushi) (focusing on his father’s side) – http://www.findagrave.com

Immigration record of Jim’s father – https://www.familysearch.org

Immigration record of Jim’s paternal grandmother, Vasilo Manika Bellios – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Jim Belushi (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.genealogy.com

Jim’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Jim’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

60 Responses

  1. porkarella says:

    Non-typical Albanian I Iive in Europe and my country is plenty of them the majority of them have dark eyes like dark hair just a little part of them are light haired and light eyed but his face is typcal tho.
    His dead bro John instead was Semitic looked Turkish.
    He come from a mixed Albanian family.

  2. andrew says:


    Is it possible that the Belushis had Vlach or Macedonian roots, or it’s just a speculation?

  3. madman says:

    Add Greek to his ethnicity.

    • andrew says:

      I’d say “likely (some) Greek”

      Just a surname like “Samaras” says it all. It’s Greek, not Albanian.

    • follers says:

      The Belushis’ father and his family also went under the Greek surname Bellios. Perhaps I should change the Belushis’ ethnicity from “Albanian” to “Greek” altogether?

      After Phoebe Robinson, you should take a little time to reflect on your judgment, instead of re-litigating these things with no new information.

      • madman says:

        Those are two different cases. I rarely make those mistakes nowadays, Robinson is an exception in which I also was very well aware of the possibility that it was wrong.

  4. madman says:

    I’ve found his mother on the 1930 census. It says her parents were born in Greece:

    The 1940 census says Albania:

    Is it really certain they were Albanians? I’m not saying they were definitely ethnic Greeks, but to me it is at least an open question. Their surnames sound more Greek than Albanian though.

    • madman says:

      Interestingly, on the immigration record, Jim’s father’s race is listed as Turkish (could just indicate that he was muslim):

      If this is his grandfather, his ethnicity is listed as Greek:

      I didn’t write it before, but both his maternal grandparents spoke Greek. Both their surnames, and the first name Demetri, are Greek. I think his father was Albanian and his mother was of Greek descent. There is way more evidence that his maternal grandparents were Greek than Albanian.

      • andrew says:

        Jim’s maternal grandfather, Dimitrios Jorgi Samaras, was born in Karditsa, Thessaly, Greece (Καρδίτσα, Θεσσαλία, Ελλάς). His first three kids (from his first wife) were also born there, in Central Greece.

        Jim’s maternal grandmother, Anna Popajoseph, was also born in Greece (Ελλάς)

        More Greek than that…

        • madman says:

          Well, there’s a census saying they were from Albania. But no matter where they were born they were likely Greek, there are Greeks in Albania.

  5. Morrigan Ni Boii says:

    He has got of Illyrian ancestry or Thracian ancestry.

    From wikipedia:
    In Greek mythology, the name of Illyria is aetiologically traced to Illyrius, the son of Cadmus and Harmonia, who eventually ruled Illyria and became the eponymous ancestor of the Illyrians. A later version of the myth identifies Polyphemus and Galatea as parents of Celtus, Galas and Illyrius.

    Ancient Greek writers used the name “Illyrian” to describe peoples between the Liburnians and Epirus. 4th-century BC Greek writers clearly separated the people along the Adriatic coast from the Illyrians, and only in the 1st century AD was “Illyrian” used as a general term for all the peoples across the Adriatic. Writers also spoke of “Illyrians in the strict sense of the word”; Pomponius Mela (43 AD) the stricto sensu Illyrians lived north of the Taulanti and Enchele, on the Adriatic shore; Pliny the Elder used “properly named Illyrians” (Illyrii proprii/proprie dicti) for a small people south of Epidaurum, or between Epidaurum (now Cavtat) and Lissus (now Lezhë). In the Roman period, Illyricum was used for the area between the Adriatic and Danube. The term was in a way of pars pro toto.

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