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Gary Busey

Gary Busey was born, William Gary Busey, in Goose Creek (now Baytown), Texas, and was raised in Oklahoma. Busey attended college on a football scholarship, but due to a knee injury became interested in acting.

Busey began his show-business career as a drummer in The Rubber Band, actually playing at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Stage. A talented drummer, he also played with country western legends Leon Russell, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. He released one album on Epic Records with a band called Carp in 1969. Busey continued to play several small roles in both film and television during the 1970s. In 1975, as the character Harvey Daley, he was the last person killed on the series Gunsmoke.

His real breakthrough came in the dynamic 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story, with Busey taking the lead role of Buddy Holly, in addition to playing guitar and singing all the vocals. His stellar performance scored him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and the attention of Hollywood. In the same year he also starred in the critically acclaimed surfing movie Big Wednesday, followed by A Star Is Born.

In 1987, Busey played the brutal assassin Mr. Joshua, trying to kill L.A. cops Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the runaway mega-hit Lethal Weapon.

Some of Busey's other films include Stephen King's Silver Bullet, D.C. Cab, Insignificance, Predator 2, Rookie of the Year, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Under Siege, The Firm, Lost Highway, Point Break, and Black Sheep. Busey has also appeared as himself on HBO's Entourage.

Busey is also an author and is currently writing a book called Buseyisms where he takes a word and creates a definition for it with each letter that spells the word. A favorite of his is FUN: Finally Understanding Nothing.

The entertaining Busey has continued to remain busy in front of the cameras and has certainly developed a cult following among many film fans.

Busey is also the proud father of actor Jake Busey, Alectra Hutchinson Busey, and early this year he became a new father to Luke Samson Busey. Gary Busey is engaged to actress Steffanie Sampson.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2011.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Gary Busey Facts

BirthdayJune 29, 1944 (79)
BirthplaceGoose Creek, Texas, USA
Height5' 11" (1m80)  How tall is Gary Busey compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Firm
Drop Zone
Stephen King's Silver Bullet
Under Siege
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hooded Angels
Rookie of the Year
Lost Highway
Point Break
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