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JIM BELUSHI (Benny) is in fine comedic form as the voice of Samson's loyal and fun-loving squirrel friend, and Bridget's unlikely suitor.

The popular actor was born and raised in Chicago. Graduating from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Speech and Theatre, he was a resident member of Chicago's famed Second City between 1976 and 1980. In 1979, he left for Hollywood when writer-producer Garry Marshall cast him in the Paramount television series "Who's Watching the Kids” and later in "Working Stiffs” with Michael Keaton. Among Belushi's other television credits as an actor and writer are "Saturday Night Live,” "Parallel Lives,” the Oliver Stone/ABC miniseries "Wild Palms,” the movie "Sahara” for Showtime, and the critically acclaimed series "Beggars and Choosers.”

Belushi is currently in his fifth season as the star and executive producer of the ABC hit comedy "According to Jim,” in which he plays the husband in a marriage that actually works, and the father of three young children. The show co-stars Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Larry Joe Campbell.

In 2000, Belushi co-starred in MGM's "Return to Me,” directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver, and he received rave reviews for his work with Gregory Hines in Showtime's "Who Killed Atlanta's Children?”

It was his work in Edward Zwick's film "About Last Night,” featuring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, which brought Belushi his first serious attention as a film star. In the 1986 feature, he reprised the role that he had played on stage in David Mamet's Obie Award-winning "Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” from which the film was adapted. His feature credits since then show an extraordinary range: He was James Woods' spacey DJ buddy Dr. Rock in Oliver Stone's "Salvador,” the mentally handicapped dishwasher befriended by Whoopi Goldberg in "Homer and Eddie,” and the defiant high school principal standing up to drug dealers in "The Principal.”

Other starring roles include "Joe Somebody,” the "K-9” franchise for Universal Studios, "Red Heat,” "Curly Sue,” "Taking Care of Business,” "Once Upon a Crime,” "Mr. Destiny,” "Only the Lonely,” Michael Mann's "Thief,” "Real Men,” "Jumpin' Jack Flash,” "Jingle All the Way,” "Retroactive,” and "Gang Related.”

Belushi has performed on Broadway in Herb Gardner's acclaimed "Conversations With My Father” at the Royal Theatre, off-Broadway in "True West,” at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of John Guare's "Moon Over Miami,” and for Joseph Papp as the Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance.” In addition, he does numerous voiceovers for film, television, and commercials, most notably his recent turn as the Woodsman in "Hoodwinked.”

Besides acting, Belushi loves music. The Sacred Hearts is a rhythm-and-blues band who has been together for years, performing 40 nights a year at clubs, casinos, and corporate events all over the country. It is the "official house band” for the House of Blues, in which Belushi is a partner. In 2003, the band played at the SARS benefit concert in Toronto alongside the Rolling Stones in front of over 400,000 people, and that summer, its CD hit number one on the blues chart. The Blues Brothers, where Jim performs with Dan Aykroyd, also opened up for the Rolling Stones in September of 2005 at Soldier Field. Belushi currently appears on three CDs: "Blues Brothers Live from Chicago,” "36 x 22 x 36” by the Sacred Hearts, and the Big Men Big Music CD "Have Love Will Travel,” a co-production with friend Dan Aykroyd and the "According to Jim” soundtrack.


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