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Gary Busey Heads for Cancer Surgery

by Elizabeth Johns
May 22, 1997

Gary Busey has cancer.

The veteran movie actor, 52, will undergo surgery Saturday to remove a cancerous, plum-sized tumor from his sinus cavity. The congenital growth was found recently after Busey began suffering nose bleeds.

"An excellent medical team and a legion of angels are supporting me," Busey says. "[I've] replaced fear with faith." Busey will undergo radiation soon after surgery.

It's the latest in a series of struggles for the actor who shot to fame with the 1978 film, The Buddy Holly Story. Busey has battled addictions to alcohol and cocaine for years, and became sober 16 months before marrying last wife Tiani Warden in September 1996.

He also managed to survive a near-fatal motorcycle accident in December 1988. Busey wasn't wearing a helmet at the time, yet vowed to continue riding helmet-less after his surgery. His son, Jake, a hot up-and-coming actor, shares his father's passion for motorcycle riding.

Busey's recent films includes this year's Lethal Tender, Plato's Run and Rough Draft. He co-starred with Tom Cruise in 1993's The Firm.