Is this really Gary Busey in the background of The Dick Van Dyke Show?
He would have been just 20-years-old at the time.
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In the memorable Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Br-rooom Br-rooom," Rob impulsively buys a motorcycle. His wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) is understandably worried. She knows Rob is not the most coordinated person in the world and could get into an accident.
Rob is defiant and decides to ride his new wheels to the Calvada Café (named after the production company behind the show). He orders a "good, strong cup of tea" and settles down to drink when a group of young bikers rides up.
Their bikes are all much bigger than Rob's and they tease him as an "old-timer learning to ride a bike."
The two main bikers (named "Mouse" and "Jolly") are played by Robert Random and Jimmy Murphy — frequent bit-part players at the time. One background member of the biker gang, however, looks familiar.
A tall kid joking and laughing with the rest of his leather jacket-clad friends looks a lot like actor Gary Busey. Could this be one of his very first acting jobs?
If so, Busey would only be 20-years-old at the time — just shy of his 21st birthday. He was born June 29, 1944. "Br-rooom Br-rooom" originally aired on May 12, 1965, and was probably filmed in the months prior. So, technically, it's plausible it could be him. Whoever it is certainly looks around that age.
Busey was born in Texas but moved to Oklahoma as a child. He attended Oklahoma State University where he studied acting. Intriguingly, he left before graduating.
His earliest credits listed on IMDb include uncredited background roles like Concert Attendee and Hippie with Loudspeaker starting in 1967 — two years after the Dick Van Dyke Show episode in question aired. This proves he did start acting in the 1960s — and in rebellious young person background roles no less. Did his Hollywood career actually start in 1965? Someone certainly thinks so, posting this bit of questionable, if plausible TV trivia on IMBd.
Gary Busey's official website says he moved to Los Angeles in 1966 playing drums and singing in a band called Carp. They opened for big name groups like Sly and the Family Stone and even signed a deal with Epic Records. Not long after, the band broke up and Busey began looking for work in film and television.
Could the year be wrong in his website biography? Maybe he did a quick background acting gig while visiting L.A. a year before actually moving there?
Leave a comment letting us know what you think!