Gary Busey

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Gary Busey (born William Gary Busey[1] June 29, 1944 in Baytown, Texas) is an American film and stage actor and artist. He has appeared in over 120 films not including regular appearances on Gunsmoke, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, and Entourage. He won an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 1978 for his role in The Buddy Holly Story. In December 1988 he fractured his skull in a motorcycle accident.


Early life

Busey was born in Goose Creek (now Baytown), Texas, the son of Sadie Virginia (née Arnett), a homemaker, and Delmer Lloyd Busey, a construction design manager.[2] He graduated from Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1962. While attending Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, on a football scholarship, he became interested in acting.[3] 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.[4] 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 Los Carnales").

In 1978, he starred as Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story with Sartain as The Big Bopper. The movie earned Busey an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 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 critically-acclaimed surfing movie Big Wednesday.

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