Of all the jaw-dropping things — movie-star affairs, secret parties and tragedies of many stripes — that have happened at the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood, the most notorious remains comedian John Belushi’s 1982 drug death.
Lesser known, however, are the stories of celebrity copycats who seemingly wanted to follow in his footsteps.
The “Saturday Night Live” star had been staying in one of the fabled bungalows, on a five-day cocaine and heroin bender. After getting so desperate that he reportedly called up his agent for drug money, Belushi invited over dealer/celebrity hanger-on Cathy “Silverbag” Smith (so named because she carried her contraband in a silver-colored bag).
According to the National Enquirer, Smith later said she actually shot up Belushi with the speedball that killed him: “his coup de grace … He had a death wish.” Just six years earlier, “New owners bought it with an eye to tearing [the hotel] down,” said Shawn Levy, author of “The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont” (Doubleday), out Tuesday. “But after Belushi died, the place was on the map.”