Gary Busey was born, William Gary Busey, in Goose Creek (now Baytown), Texas, and was raised in Oklahoma. Busey attended college on a football scholarship, but due to a knee injury became interested in acting.
Busey began his show-business career as a drummer in The Rubber Band, actually playing at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Stage. A talented drummer, he also played with country western legends Leon Russell, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. He released one album on Epic Records with a band called Carp 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."
His real breakthrough came in the dynamic 1978 film "The Buddy Holly Story," with Busey taking the lead role of Buddy Holly, in addition to playing guitar and singing all the vocals. His stellar performance scored him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and the attention of Hollywood. In the same year he also starred in the critically acclaimed surfing movie "Big Wednesday," followed by "A Star Is Born."
In 1987, Busey played the brutal assassin Mr. Joshua, trying to kill L.A. cops Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the runaway mega-hit "Lethal Weapon."
Some of Busey's other films include Stephen King's "Silver Bullet," "D.C. Cab," "Insignificance," "Predator 2," "Rookie of the Year," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Under Siege," "The Firm," "Lost Highway," "Point Break," and "Black Sheep." Busey has also appeared as himself on HBO's "Entourage."
Busey is also an author and is currently writing a book called "Buseyisms" where he takes a word and creates a definition for it with each letter that spells the word. A favorite of his is FUN: Finally Understanding Nothing.
The entertaining Busey has continued to remain busy in front of the cameras and has certainly developed a cult following among many film fans.
Busey is also the proud father of actor Jake Busey, Alectra Hutchinson Busey, and early this year he became a new father to Luke Samson Busey. Gary Busey is engaged to actress Steffanie Sampson.
In 1988, Gary Busey suffered severe brain damage when he fractured his skull in a motorcycle accident. Gary considers himself lucky in that he was able to eventually return to his life and career, but millions of people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year, some of which can cause permanent disabilities. The Center for Head Injury Services helps these individuals rebuild their lives through community-based specialized brain injury services and rehabilitation. Gary has chosen this charity in order to give to an organization that does so much for people struggling to overcome traumatic brain injuries.
1. What got you interested in being on Celebrity Apprentice?
I've always been a fan of Celebrity Apprentice, and through my Imagineering I instinctively knew that the Celebrity Apprentice show would be fun to do.
2. How did you get involved with your chosen charity?
December 4, 1988 I had a vicious traumatic brain injury. I had brain surgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and quit living right after brain surgery to go to a very special place. I chose The Center for Head Injury Services so I could help others in the same way that I was helped.
3. What is it like competing against fellow celebrities?
It's fun because there is no competition in art.
4. What about the competition was harder than you might have expected?
5. Do you have a favorite past winner or contestant from the first three seasons of Celebrity Apprentice?
1. What was it like hearing the words "You're fired?"
It was a disappointment and a relief at the same time.
2. Did you agree with Trump's rationale for your firing? Or did you think one of the other contestants deserved it more?
The firing came because of my lack of responsibility as a project manager. I took it as a learning lesson and when I was fired, I received a badge of honor. Thank you Mr. Trump.
3. What moment or moments on the show were you surprised to see? Were you particularly surprised by anyone's behavior on the show?
Everything and everyone was surprising in the way that it was.
4. Do you feel as though you've made any lasting friendships and business relationships from the show? With who?
I made lasting friendships with everyone because everyone has a heart and a mind and a soul, and my love for the cast members is unconditional.
5. What was the best part of your experience? Why?
Winning the task with Camping World as project manager, which allowed me to give a big donation to my charity. That was the golden moment and will be forever.
6. Do you feel changed in any way by the experience? Has it had a lasting impact on your approach to life?
Completely changed. The lesson I learned to the extreme of learning is that there are 360 ways to see an elephant and you will understand that when you are ready.
7. What has the experience taught you about people?
Not to judge others. When you think of people as enemies they're really here to show you what you need to change about yourself so enemies are, simply, friends in reverse.