Tall and blonde, Busey actually made his film debut as a lad in 1978, playing his father as a boy in "Straight Time." His next paying job was also connected with his father, providing Gary's voice as a teen-ager in the thriller "Hider in the House" (1989). Busey began actually working in films in 1994, with the small role of a fired driver in "I'll Do Anything" followed by the role of Mersh, a deadhead, in "PCU" (also 1994). In 1996, he could be seen as the mobile lab technician on the ill-fated rival research crew run by Cary Elwes in "Twister" and had a co-starring role in "The Frighteners." In 1997, Busey's stock in Hollywood rose as he was cast in four features: "Quiet Days in Hollywood," as a character in search of a life in L.A.; Paul Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers," as an intergalactic fighter; Robert Zemeckis' "Contact," opposite Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey and "Home Fries," as one of two brothers obsesses with a woman (Drew Barrymore). TV roles began in 1992 with a small part in the NBC miniseries "Cruel Doubt." Busey played a revving gang member in "Motorcycle Gang" (Showtime, 1994), and was a high school football player in "Word Runner" (The Disney Channel, 1994). He had a more substantial role, Halverson, the feared bully of the juvenile home, in "Shimmer" for PBS' "American Playhouse" in 1995.