“I took an acting class at Santa Barbara College on a whim. There was a girl in the class I had a crush on. Before long I was more interested in the class than in the girl. I thought that was enough indication that acting was something I should pursue. After I declared my intentions to become an actor, it took me three years to get one line of dialogue. I haven’t been sipping out of some silver spoon. I auditioned for three years before I could get a job. There’s a chance that some people might feel it was easy for me, but I don’t worry about it. I realized that’s how people in the business see me now and not just as Gary Busey’s son.” Jake Busey
Part of a promising “second generation” of Hollywood actors, Jake Busey, sometimes credited as Jacob Busey or William Busey, is famous as the son of noted actor Gary Busey and for his starring turn as the shoddy Dennis on the television comedy series “Shasta McNasty” (1999-2000). He also received praise for his fine acting in Showtime’s film Motorcycle Gang (1994).
A gifted, multi-faceted young actor with a number of standout performances, Busey launched himself as a trustworthy character actor in the 1990s thanks to his roles in such movies as S.F.W. (1994), Twister (1996), The Frighteners (1996), Contact (1997), Starship Troopers (1997), Home Fries (1998), Enemy of the State (1998) and Held Up (1999). One of Hollywood’s “bad boys,” he experienced big success with James Mangold’s thriller Identity (2003), with John Cusack and Amanda Peet. Other films he has acted in include Tomcats (2001), The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), The Rain Makers (2005), Broken (2006), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) and Death Row (2006).
Recently appearing as a guest performer in an episode of “CSI: Miami” (2007), the tall actor is scheduled to have roles on the TV series pilot “Playing Chicken” (2007) and the comedy/action film Play Dead (2008).
Aside from acting, Mr. Busey Jr. is a musician. He currently plays the drums for a band named Feedback. He also plays bass guitar and writes music. The 6-foot, 3-inch actor rides motorcycles and has a pilot’s license. Still single, he currently lives in Los Angeles.
Childhood and Family:
In Los Angeles, California, William Gareth Jacob Busey Jr., who would later be famous as Jake Busey, was born on June 15, 1971. He is the only son of actor Gary Busey and Judy Helkenberg. His parents separated when he was 16. Jack grew up in Malibu with musicians and actors all around and made his first film while still a young child in Straight Time (1978), alongside his father and Dustin Hoffman. He, however, did not have any intention of becoming an actor until he took a drama class while studying at Santa Barbara Community College in Santa Barbara, California. He later also studied acting at the Jimmy Best Program in Florida.
After his movie debut, Jack spent the rest of his upbringing concentrating on school and his first love, music. He learned to play the drums from his dad and legends like Jim Keltner and Mick Fleetwood.
Son of actor Gary Busey, Jake Busey had his first taste in front of the film camera as the son of his real-life father and Kathy Bates in the 1978 crime/drama Straight Time, but did not take acting seriously as a profession until his late teens. He spent more than two years auditioning before eventually bursting through in the early 1990s. He landed some small roles in TV and was seen in the NBC miniseries “Cruel Doubt” (1992) and the Showtime movie Motorcycle Gang (1994), where he received good reviews for his costarring turn as Jack, a gang member. However, the big screen movies proved to be more beneficial for the young actor. From 1993 to 1994, he successfully collected six credits, including the Jeremy Piven vehicle PCU, the high-profile I’ll Do Anything and the disappointing S.F.W. Despite the failure of the latter film, which cast Busey in the part of Stephen Dorff’s gangling, wannabe killer assistant, coupled with his performance in Motorcycle Gang, Busy showed Hollywood he could act.
Next, Busey portrayed the mobile lab technician on the research crew managed by Cary Elwes in the disaster film Twister, costarred as undead serial killer Johnny Bartlett in the Peter Jackson-helmed supernatural The Frighteners (both 1996), and in 1997, his profile in Hollywood continued to rise with roles in the movies Robert Zemeckis’ Contact, with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey, Quiet Days in Hollywood, opposite Hillary Swank, and Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, starring as a smart-mouthed soldier named Ace Levy. He went on to play the supporting role of Luke Wilson’s bully older brother in a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore, Home Fries (1998), a government assassin in the Will Smith-Gene Hackman action Enemy of the State (1998), Beaumont in Jamie Foxx’s Held Up (1999), and shared the screen with Jaimz Woolvett and Breckin Meyer in the Canadian comedy/action Tail Lights Fade (1999).
Busey also appeared as Deputy Norm Babbitt in the television film Black Cat Run (1998). In 1999, the busy actor ventured into series TV with his regular starring role as the sloppy Dennis in the UPN short-lived comedy “Shasta McNasty,” opposite Carmine Giovinazzo as Scott and Dale Godboldo as Randy. After the show left the airwaves in 2000, he returned to films. He costarred as a determined bachelor competing for Shannon Elizabeth’s interest in the bland comedy Tomcats (2001) and starred with Rosario Dawson and Adam Garcia in The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002). Unfortunately for Busey, both movies were flops. The 2003 successful horror-thriller Identity finally put the blonde performer back in the spotlight. There, he played a scowling convict trapped in a desolate Nevada motel with strangers.
From 2004-2006, Busey dotted his already prolific resume with performances in such movies as Christmas with the Kranks (2004), The Tao of Pong (2004), The Rain Makers (2005), Code Breakers (2005, TV), Broken (2006), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) and Death Row (2006). He also landed guest appearances in television series like “Charmed” (2004) and “CSI: Miami” (2007), as Phillip Craven.
The 36-year-old actor will appear with Alanna Ubach, Marianne Muellerleile and Norbert Leo Butz in a TV series pilot, “Playing Chicken” (2007). Additionally, he is set to star with Chris Klein and Fred Durst in the upcoming comedy/action film Play Dead (2008), directed by Jason Wiles.