You may have seen Jake Busey in movies like Starship Troopers, The Frighteners, or The Predator, and wondered if he is related to another famous Busey: Gary Busey. The answer is yes, they are father and son, and they share more than just a surname and a resemblance. Here’s everything you need to know about the Busey family.
Jake Busey’s Early Life and Career
Jake Busey was born in Los Angeles in 1971, to actor Gary Busey and photographer Judy Helkenberg. He grew up in Malibu, surrounded by celebrities and musicians, some of whom his father played with, such as Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, and Little Feat.
Jake made his film debut at the age of seven, playing his father’s son in Straight Time, alongside Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates. He later pursued acting as a profession in his late teens, after being inspired by his father’s performance in The Buddy Holly Story.
Jake has appeared in over 50 films and TV shows, mostly in supporting roles or as a villain. Some of his most notable roles include:
– Johnny Bartlett, a serial killer who terrorizes a town with his ghostly girlfriend in The Frighteners (1996), directed by Peter Jackson.
– Ace Levy, a smart-mouthed soldier who fights against alien bugs in Starship Troopers (1997), directed by Paul Verhoeven.
– Professor Aiden Tanner, a vampire hunter who transforms into a sex machine in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (2014-2016), based on the film by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
– Sean Keyes, a government agent who investigates the Predator’s return to Earth in The Predator (2018), directed by Shane Black.
Gary Busey’s Legendary Career and Personal Struggles
Gary Busey was born in Texas in 1944, and started his career as a musician, playing drums for various bands. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, and began acting in TV shows and movies. He rose to fame with his Oscar-nominated portrayal of rock star Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story (1978), which also earned him a Golden Globe award.
Gary has starred in over 150 films and TV shows, often playing eccentric or unpredictable characters. Some of his most memorable roles include:
– Mr. Joshua, a ruthless mercenary who works for a drug lord in Lethal Weapon (1987), directed by Richard Donner.
– Pappas, an FBI agent who partners with Keanu Reeves to catch bank-robbing surfers in Point Break (1991), directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
– Peter Keyes, a government agent who hunts down the Predator in Predator 2 (1990), directed by Stephen Hopkins.
– Buddy Ackerman, a sadistic Hollywood producer who torments his assistant in The Player (1992), directed by Robert Altman.
Gary has also had his share of personal challenges and controversies. He survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 1988, which left him with brain damage and affected his speech and behavior. He has battled with drug addiction, bankruptcy, divorce, and legal troubles. He has also appeared on reality shows like Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Celebrity Apprentice, and Dancing with the Stars.
The Bond Between Jake and Gary Busey
Despite their differences and difficulties, Jake and Gary Busey have maintained a close bond as father and son. Jake has said that he learned everything from his father, even the hard parts of his life. He has also praised his father’s talent and resilience.
Jake and Gary have also worked together on several projects, such as:
– Hider in the House (1989), where Jake voiced the teenage version of Gary’s character Tom Sykes.
– Shasta McNasty (1999-2000), where Jake starred as one of the main characters Scott Wolfman Thomas, while Gary guest-starred as Uncle Billy.
– Down ‘n Dirty (2001), where Jake played Cole Parker Jr., while Gary played Cole Parker Sr.
– Quigley (2003), where Jake played Dexter Pearlsley Jr., while Gary played Archie Channin.
Jake and Gary Busey are not only related by blood, but also by their passion for acting and their unique personalities. They are both part of Hollywood history, and have entertained audiences with their diverse and dynamic performances.