William Gary Busey, better known as Gary Busey to his admirers, is an actor who has played a variety of roles on stage and in films. The actor’s looks, which include a huge toothy grin and a gravelly voice, make him ideal for playing strange and eccentric characters, which he did in films such as ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Under Siege.’ He started his professional career as a drummer, going by the stage name Teddy Jack Eddy, before transitioning to acting. He was cast as Sprunk in the local television comedy show ‘The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting’ while in Tulsa. His film career began with the biker picture ‘Angels Hard as They Come,’ which led to minor appearances in films such as ‘Dirty Little Billy,’ and ‘Hex,’ among others. When he was cast in the starring role of rock artist Buddy Holly in the film ‘The Buddy Holly Story,’ he had a major breakthrough. He was a musician himself, and he sang his own songs, which the cinema critics praised. He was nominated for an Academy Award for this performance, and the skilled actor appeared to be on the verge of even greater glory. Unfortunately, he developed a cocaine addiction, which negatively impacted his life and profession, preventing him from reaching his full potential.
Childhood and Adolescence
Gary Busey was born to Delmer Lloyd Busey, a Native American father, and Sadie Virginia, an Irish mother. His father worked in the building industry as a design manager. He graduated from Tulsa’s Nathan Hale High School in 1962. He attended Pittsburg State University on a football scholarship before transferring to Oklahoma State University. However, he dropped out before completing his degree. While in college, he used to play percussion with Leon Russell and Willie Nelson.
Career of William
As a drummer in a band named The Rubber Band, the musically motivated young guy broke into show business. Under the name Teddy Jack Eddy, he also played drums on many of Leon Russell’s records. During his time in Tulsa, he portrayed Sprunk in a local television comedy show called ‘The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting.’
In the 1970s, he began to appear in a number of minor television and film parts. In 1971, he made his film debut in the motorcycle film ‘Angels Hard as They Come.’ In 1972, he had minor roles in the films ‘The Magnificent Seven Ride!’ and ‘Dirty Little Billy.’
He had a brief appearance in one of the episodes of ‘Kung Fu’, Season 1 in 1973 titled ‘The Ancient Warrior.’
Following his performance in a television series, director Barbra Streisand cast him as Bobby Ritchie in the 1976 film “A Star is Born.” In 1978, he earned the main role in the biographical film “The Buddy Holly Story,” in which he portrayed Buddy Holly, a bright young singer whose life was cruelly cut short by an accident. Despite the fact that his job seemed to be going in the right path, his personal life was not. His career was damaged when he became addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Because of his drug troubles, he was no longer obtaining main roles and was only getting lesser ones.
He was typecast as a quirky and insane individual in the 1980s and was unable to break out from this caricature. He appeared in a number of films, including ‘The Bear’ (1984), ‘Silver Bullet’ (1985), and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (1986). (1986). In the 1987 action film ‘Lethal Weapon,’ he played Joshua with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. The picture was a great smash, and it helped him resurrect his ailing career. He also gave a strong performance in the 1991 film ‘Point Break.’ He portrayed FBI Agent Angelo Pappas, who investigates a string of bank thefts alongside his colleague. Commercially, the film was a huge hit. In the critically praised action film ‘Under Siege,’ he played a corrupt and psychopathic navy officer. The film critics praised him for his performance.
His drug addiction was getting worse by the mid-1990s, and he almost died from a cocaine overdose. He was taken to the hospital and arrested by the police for illicit drug possession. His film career began to deteriorate, and he was no longer cast in significant roles, while he continued to act in minor roles in films such as ‘Soldier’ (1998), ‘Glory Glory’ (2000), ‘Latin Dragon’ (2004), and ‘Maneater’ (2005). (2007). He has appeared in various television episodes, primarily as a guest star, in addition to his film roles.
Major Projects of William
‘The Buddy Holly Story,’ in which he played the young musician Buddy Holly, is his most well-known film. For this part, he shed a lot of weight and sang all of the songs solo. He received critical acclaim for this performance, earning him multiple prizes as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Achievements & Awards
In 1979, he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor for his role as Buddy Holly in the film “The Buddy Holly Story.” For the film ‘The Buddy Holly Story,’ he won the BAFTA Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Role in 1980.
Personal History and Legacy
He’s been married twice, both of which ended in divorce. Steffanie Sampson is the woman he is now dating.
He is the father of three children by three separate women. Jake Busey, his son, is also an actor and musician.
Because he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the near-fatal motorbike accident in 1988, he suffered severe brain injuries. He had a well-publicized drug addiction problem, however he claims to be drug-free for many years.
Estimated Net Worth
Gary Busey is an American actor with a net worth of $1 million dollars. Acting in films such as “The Buddy Holly Story,” “The Firm,” “Lost Highway,” “Point Break,” and “Black Sheep” helped Gary Busey amass his fortune. He’s also been on “Gunsmoke,” “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Law & Order,” and “Entourage,” among other shows. Busey is also renowned for appearing on reality shows such as “Celebrity Apprentice” (on which he appeared twice, in Seasons 4 and 6) and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” as a wild card.