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Gary Busey (1944)

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William Gary Busey , best known as Gary Busey, is an American film and stage actor and artist. He has appeared in a large variety of films, as well as making regular appearances on Gunsmoke, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, and Entourage. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1978 for his role in The Buddy Holly Story.


 early life
Busey was born in Goose Creek , Texas, the son of Sadie Virginia (née Arnett), a homemaker, and Delmer Lloyd Busey, a construction design manager. He graduated from Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1962. While attending Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg on a football scholarship, he became interested in acting. He then transferred to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he quit school just one class short of graduation.

Busey began his show-business career as a drummer in The Rubber Band. He appears on several Leon Russell recordings, credited as playing drums under the names "Teddy Jack Eddy" and "Sprunk", a character he created when he was a cast member of a local television comedy show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting (which starred fellow Tulsan Gailard Sartain as "Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi"). He played in a band called Carp, who released one album on Epic Records 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 (in the antepenultimate episode, No. 633 – "The Busters").

In 1976 he was hired by Barbra Streisand and her producer-boyfriend Jon Peters to play Bobby Ritchie, road manager to Kris Kristofferson's character in the remake film A Star is Born. On the DVD commentary of the film, Streisand says Busey was great and that she had seen him on a TV series and thought he had the right qualities to play the role.

In 1978, he starred as Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story with Sartain as The Big Bopper. The movie earned Busey an Academy Award nomination and the National Society of Film Critics' Best Actor award. In the film, he changes the lyrics to the song "Well All Right" and sings, "We're gonna love Teddy Jack..." a reference to his Teddy Jack Eddy persona. In the same year he also starred in the surfing movie Big Wednesday.

In the 1980s, Busey's roles included Silver Bullet, Barbarosa, Insignificance and Lethal Weapon. In the movie D.C. Cab, Busey portrayed the character Dell. At one point, Dell is singing along with a cassette recording of Busey singing the song "Why Baby Why" . In the 1990s, he appeared in Predator 2, Rookie of the Year, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Under Siege, The Firm, Lost Highway, Point Break and Black Sheep.

Busey sang the song "Stay All Night" on Saturday Night Live in March 1979, Episode 14, Season 4, and on the Late Show with David Letterman in the 1990s.

In 2002, Busey voiced the character Phil Cassidy in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, then again in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in 2006. He also voiced himself on a 2005 episode of The Simpsons, narrating an informational video about restraining orders.

Busey appeared in the 2006 Turkish nationalist film Valley of the Wolves Iraq, . The film, accused of fascism, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, tells the story of the U.S. Army run amok in Iraq and brought into check by a Turkish soldier; Busey plays a Jewish-American Army doctor who harvests fresh organs from injured Iraqi prisoners to sell to rich patients in New York City, London and Tel Aviv.

In 2007, he appeared as himself on HBO's Entourage. Producers at HBO asked Busey to play a "character" on the show who was the self-named actor who is also a famous painter and sculptor.

In 2008, he joined the second season of the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Per his contract and VH1's press release, he was to be part of the mentoring team and not a patient. Drew Pinsky has expressed a different opinion, saying that he can help by being in group meetings with others and is not part of the staff, but part of the patients of this second season. Busey returned to reality television in Celebrity Apprentice 4, which premiered in March 2011.

In a series of 2010 YouTube advertisements for Vitamin Water, Busey appears as Norman Tugwater, a lawyer who defends professional athletes' entitlements to a cut from Fantasy Football team owners.

The following year, a whirlwind of rumors flew around Hollywood that Busey had been fired from horror movie Mansion of Blood from Elusive Entertainment. Rather, according to Busey's publicist, Michael Conley, Busey stars as Zacharia in the indy film from Elusive Entertainment. In fact, Conley says, "The Producers were so happy with Gary's performance that they even called a "press conference" arranged by the movie's unit publicist, Liz Rodriguez, held by her and the "Mansion" producer team from historical Hollywood & Highland to officially exonerate Gary of any allegations that he had been fired and praised Gary's performance in the upcoming movie."

 personal life
In 1971, Busey's wife Judy Helkenberg gave birth to their son, William Jacob Busey, now known as actor Jake Busey. Busey and Judy divorced when Jake was nineteen.

Busey has a daughter named Alectra from a previous relationship.

On December 9, 2009, it was announced that Gary Busey and girlfriend Steffanie Sampson were expecting their first child in May 2010. On February 23, 2010, their son Luke Sampson Busey was born.

Media reports claimed that Busey is a Christian and active minister in Promise Keepers. Promise Keepers says that this is incorrect, that it was never contacted for verification of this false claim, and stated on its website that "There is a story circulating through the media that Gary Busey is a minister at Promise Keepers... This is false."

 Motorcycle accident and brain damage
On December 4, 1988, Busey was severely injured in a motorcycle accident in which he was not wearing a helmet. His skull was fractured, and doctors feared he suffered permanent brain damage.

At the recommendation of Dr. Drew Pinsky, Busey was seen by psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy. Sophy suspected that Busey's brain injury has had a greater effect on him than realized. He described it as essentially weakening his mental "filters" and causing him to speak and act impulsively. Sophy recommended Busey take a medication called Depakote , to which Busey agreed.

 Legal issues
In May 1995, Busey was arrested for cocaine possession after being hospitalized for an overdose of cocaine and GHB.

On August 20, 1997, Busey was accused of pushing a stewardess who bumped him on a flight to Las Vegas. Upon the flight's landing, he was questioned by police, but no charges were filed.

On January 25, 1999, Busey was arrested after a fight with his wife. He was released on bail.

On December 2, 2001, Busey was again arrested for spousal abuse after his ex-wife Tiani Warden called authorities, complaining he left her bruised. Busey was released on $50,000 bail.

On September 7, 2004, Busey's landlord filed a lawsuit to evict him because Busey had refused to pay his rent for about three months.

On Sept 23, 2004, Busey was arrested for showing up late to a spousal support court hearing. His lawyer bailed him out two-and-a-half hours later.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gary Busey", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.