What Actually Happened To Gary Busey?

Gary Busey was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the '70s and '80s. He appeared in a number of hit films such as Lethal Weapon, Point Break and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But his bizarre antics and behavior over the past 20 years have caused people to question why Gary Busey has become so crazy.

If swapping wives with Ted Haggard or rambling incoherently during interviews makes it seem like the actor has gone off the deep end, there's a good reason. Busey was involved in a collision that may have played a major role in his outlandish actions. Gary Busey's 1988 motorcycle accident caused serious injuries to his head, and many have speculated that it could be responsible for his rather eccentric behavior. Busey's tragic story involves drug addiction and a brush with death that totally explains his nutty conduct.

  • Busey Was Riding Without A Helmet When He Hit A Patch Of Gravel And Flew Over The Handlebars

    Busey Was Riding Without A Helmet When He Hit A Patch Of Gravel And Flew Over The Handlebars
    Photo: Black Sheep / Amazon

    In 1988, the then 44-year-old was traveling along Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles when he was in a motorcycle accident. His bike hit a patch of sand and gravel in the road, and Busey was thrown over the handlebars. Police could find no evidence that Busey was speeding or that another vehicle was involved. 

    The accident left him with serious head trauma. He fractured his skull when he hit a curb, and he required immediate emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

  • Busey Momentarily Died On The Operating Table

    Busey required two hours of neurosurgery to remedy his head trauma. During that time, he briefly died, but doctors were able to revive him. The actor later claimed that he went to heaven and saw angels, which appeared to him as "big balls of light that float and carry nothing but love and warmth."

  • The Accident Created A Hole In His Skull

    The Accident Created A Hole In His Skull
    Photo: Lethal Weapon / Amazon

    The fracture was very serious. It didn't just crack his skull but actually left his brain exposed. In an interview with USA Today he said, “I landed at the feet of a police officer and was rushed to an emergency room with a hole in my head the size of a half dollar.” It was only due to the speedy work of the police officer and medics that the actor survived. Any delay in receiving treatment would have likely proved fatal.

  • The Actor Was In A Coma For Four Weeks

    Busey was placed in a medically induced coma to expedite his recovery. The coma lasted four weeks in total. His rehabilitation was all the more remarkable because he appeared to suffer almost no negative physical effects, despite enduring severe trauma to his brain. Five weeks after waking from the coma, Busey was able to walk out of the hospital, although he needed several months of rest before he could return to work.