Before They Were Stars: Gary Busey on “Gunsmoke”

People have always attributed Gary Busey’s bizarre behaviour to the fact that he suffered brain damage after getting involved in a bad motorcycle accident in 1988 when he was not wearing a helmet. That makes it quite eerie and prescient to go back and watch this guest appearance that Busey made on an episode of Gunsmoke in 1975, playing a character who suffers a severe brain injury after being thrown and kicked in the head by a horse, which eventually causes him to die of a subdural hemotoma. This episode is presented as a tearjerker, but I think we should all be grateful that the real Gary Busey’s reaction to a head injury did lead not to death, but over twenty years of unique, one-of-a-kind entertainment.

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