Belushi arrives with a friend’s to-do list

Apple Blossom Festival Grand Marshal Jim Belushi waves to the crowd as the parade passes along West Cork Street on Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Actor Jim Belushi said he had never been to Winchester before serving as this year’s grand marshal of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival Grand Feature Parade. But he had heard all about it from a friend, Donna Dixon.

“[Dixon] was like … you have to go to Winchester …  the most beautiful place,” Belushi said.

Dixon, a former actress whose husband – Dan Aykroyd –  Belushi regularly performs with, has a brother and sister who live in this area. Dixon and Aykroyd served as co-grand marshals for the 1999 and 2002 Apple Blossom Festivals.

Belushi wasn’t able to stay in Winchester long enough to check many items off of Dixon’s list, but he said he was going to get some croissants Dixon had recommended on his way out of town.

Belushi is an actor, comedian and musician. He was the star of the sitcom “According to Jim” and has appeared in over 100 movies and TV shows, according to IMDB.

Actor Jim Belushi speaks with reporters during a news conference Saturday prior to the Grand Feature Parade. Rich Cooley/Daily

This year, Belushi is slated to appear in “Wonder Wheel,” a new Woody Allen movie, as Kate Winslet’s husband; and “Twin Peaks,” an 18-episode sequel to the 1992 TV show.

Belushi wasn’t able to say much about what viewers might expect in this season’s “Twin Peaks” — not only because he wasn’t allowed to divulge plot twists, but because even he doesn’t know the whole story.

“I get a call that I got this part on ‘Twin Peaks’ and I said, ‘Great. Send me the script,'” Belushi said. “They would not email the script. It was hand-delivered. And they only hand-delivered the pages that my character were in.”

Over the years, Belushi’s career has had many parallels with the career of his brother, John Belushi. Both brothers worked at Second City, the Chicago improvisational theater group, and both worked at Saturday Night Live.

Jim Belushi has recently toured with Aykroyd performing as the Blues Brothers, which started as a Saturday Night Live sketch and later became a movie, both starring Aykroyd and John Belushi.

Jim Belushi. grand marshal of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, jokes with reporters during a news conference Saturday prior to the Grand Feature Parade. Rich Cooley/Daily

“[Dan Aykroyd] asked me to do the Blues Brothers,” Belushi said. “I told him I thought it was a little weird to do it. And (Aykroyd said), ‘Oh, absolutely not. Absolutely not. That’s like a law firm. When one of the partners goes down, the brother comes and takes over.”

While Belushi said he was initially reluctant to take the role, he also expressed gratitude for the help his brother provided in launching his career.

“There’s an old Chinese proverb, and it goes like this,” Belushi said. “‘When you drink the water, remember the men or women who dug the way.’ And my career…I have been drinking the greatest spring water from a well that my brother John dug. And I’m grateful.”

Contact staff writer Max Lee at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or mlee@nvdaily.com