Monday, July 8, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Gary Busey

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

William Gary Busey was born in Goose Creek, Texas on June 29, 1944. 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 name "Teddy Jack Eddy" 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’ on station KTUL. For his skits on Uncanny Film Festival, Busey drew on his American Hero, belligerent, know-it-all character. When he told Gailard Sartain his character needed a name, Sartain replied, "Take three: Teddy, Jack and Eddy."

In 1974, Busey played Truckie Wheeler in the ABC television comedy’ The Texas Wheelers’. During that same year he made his major film debut with a supporting role in Michael Cimino's buddy action caper “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”, starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.

He portrayed Buddy Holly in “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor. His other starring roles include “A Star is Born” (1976), “Barbarosa” (1982), “D.C. Cab” (1983), “Lethal Weapon” (1987), “Under Siege” (1992).

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 he suffered permanent brain damage.

Busey has been married twice and has three children.

Gary’s only Euro-western was as Sheriff Ben in the 2000 South African film “Hooded Angels”.

BUSEY, Gary (William Gary Busey) [6/29/1944, Goose Creek, Texas, U.S.A. -     ] – producer, composer, film, TV actor, singer, musician, married to actress Judy Busey (Judy L. Helkenberg) [1944-    ] (1968-1990) father of producer, actor Jake Busey (William Jacob Busey) [1971-    ], father of Alectra Busey [1994-    ], with stuntwoman, actress Tracy Hutchinson, married to actress Tiani Warden [1967-2019] (1996-2001), father of Luke Sampson Busey [2010-     ] with actress Steffanie Sampson, grandfather of actress Autumn Busey [2012-    ],  member of the band ‘The Rubber Band’.

Hooded Angels – 2000 (Sheriff Ben)

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