Gary Busey

Date Of Birth:
29 June 1944
Place Of Birth:
Goose Creek, Texas
Best Known As:
Star of The Buddy Holly Story
Gary Busey was nominated for an Oscar for his first lead role in 1978's The Buddy Holly Story, but modern audiences know him more for portraying wild-eyed villains in such films as Lethal Weapon (1987, starring Mel Gibson) and Point Break (1991, starring Keanu Reeves). Raised in Oklahoma, Gary Busey went to Hollywood in the late 1960s as a drummer in a rock band. In the early '70s he started working in the movies, earning small parts in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, starring Clint Eastwood) and A Star is Born (1976, starring Barbra Streisand). Then his performance as rock legend Buddy Holly made him a star. He followed with a strong turn in the western Barbarossa (1982, with Willie Nelson). In the '80s Busey's career nearly took a backseat to his out-of-control personal life, but by the '90s he had survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident, cancer surgery and drug addiction to come out the other side a "born again" Christian and a hard-working character actor. In addition to roles in films like The Firm (1993), Lost Highway (1997), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Busey did voice work for the video game Grand Theft Auto. As the 21st century rolled on, Busey found himself playing stranger supporting roles in more obscure films: a shady-billionaire-turned-Pomeranian in the comedy Quigley (2003), an obnoxious bro-pal in Confessions of a Womanizer (2014), and Coach Dombrowsky in the male-teen-pregnancy comedy Mamaboy (2017). On TV, he embraced his new reputation in a series of shows: Comedy Central's I'm With Busey (2003) capitalized on Busey's famously oddball behavior, and he appeared in Celebrity Paranormal Project (2006), Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (2008), Celebrity Wife Swap (2012), and Celebrity Big Brother (2014). In 2022 he starred in a short-run series Gary Busey: Pet Judge, ruling on pet-related issues brought to his "courtroom."
Extra Credit:

As a drummer, Gary Busey played with Willie Nelson, his co-star in the movie Barbarosa (1982), and with Kris Kristofferson, his co-star in the movie A Star is Born (1976)… He is the father of actor Jake Busey… In The Buddy Holly Story, Gary Busey performed the songs himself.

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