Gary Busey : What Happened When He Didn’t Wear Motorcycle Helmet

Gary Busey portraying Buddy Holly in the Buddy Holly Story (1978)


Gary Busey is a walking testimony, as to how not wearing a helmet in a motorcycle can cause brain damage. He is still feeling the effects of the accident 25 years after the 1988 accident. Doctors feared that he suffered extensive brain damage due to the  motorcycle accident.

20 years later in 2008 another doctor said that the brain damage was even more extensive, than the doctors had thought he had in 1988..

He was born William Gary Busey in Goose Creek, Texas on June 29, 1944, which was only 23 days after the Normandy invasion in France.

His higher education ended one class short of graduation, when he left Oklahoma State University.

One of his claims to fame during the early days of his career was that he was the last person killed, on the Gunsmoke television series.

Busey acted for the first time in a movie. in an uncredited performance in Wild In The Streets in 1968. He next appeared in episodes of High Chapparal and Dan August. He also appeared in a Bonanza episode.

The big break for Busey came, when he was cast as Buddy Holly in the Buddy Holly Story in 1978. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Busey mostly appeared in movies in his career, but did some free-lancing in television series and TV movies.

His appearance on Celebrity Apprentice in 2011 and 2013 brought him more notoriety for his zany behavior and it was clear to see that Donald Trump was happy to have him on the show.

Busey has already been in two movies this year Matt’s Chance and Bounty Killer that were released in January and April respectively.

In addition DaZe Vol.ll has been completed, while Confessions Of A Womanizer and Mansion Of Blood are both in post-production.

So Busey’s movie career is still thriving 45 years after appearing in his first movie.

Busey also has appeared on stage as a musician, with appearances with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Leon Russell as a drummer.

Jake Busey son of Gary and also an actor.

His son Jake who is 42 has appeared in 77 movies and television shows and will be seen in many movies soon. His page at shows how busy he has been this year, with 10 movies, in various stages of being released, completed or in post-production.

Gary Busey Trivia

Played in band named Rubber Band.

Is a licensed airplane pilot.

Has black belts in all of the following martial arts: budo-jujitsu, capoeira, hapkido, “Jailhouse Rock” and kendo.







Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “Gary Busey : What Happened When He Didn’t Wear Motorcycle Helmet”

  1. I loved him in the Buddy Holly movie. So sad about his accident and brain damage. I watched a little bit of him on Celebrity Rehab. It was heartbreaking. People never learn though. It never ceases to amaze me watching what people wear while riding motorcycles: shorts, sleeveless shirts, high heels … guess everyone is of the mindset, “It won’t happen to me.” And don’t even get me started how poorly some motorcyclists drive — truly an accident waiting to happen.

  2. It has been so long since I saw the Buddy Holly movie, that I can’t remember much of it. He was a real character on Celebrity Apprentice, who was more focused on having fun, than the task they were working on. All it takes for a motorcyclist to get hurt is one pothole not seen in time and when they hit it they go straight up in the air.

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