Judy Helkenberg was Gary Busey’s first wife. They were married in 1968 and had one child together, a son named Jake Busey, who later became an actor as well. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1990.

Let’s take a deeper look into the successful life of Judy so far till the year 2023.

Personal Life

She was born on January 2, 1994 and married to Gary Busey. Unfortunately, she divorced her husband in 1990 and didn’t married after that. With Gary, she had a child Jake Busey.

Her Son’s Success

Together, they have a son, Jake Busey, who has followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming an actor. Jake has appeared in various films and television shows, with roles in movies like “Starship Troopers” and TV shows like “Stranger Things.”

Jake Busey, born William Jacob Busey on June 15, 1971, is an American actor, musician, and film producer. He’s the son of famous actor Gary Busey and Judy Busey. Jake followed in his father’s footsteps and carved out his own niche in Hollywood.

Movies: Jake Busey is best recognized for roles in films such as:

  • “Starship Troopers” (1997) as Ace Levy
  • “The Frighteners” (1996) as Johnny Bartlett
  • “Identity” (2003) as Robert Maine

Television: Jake has also had roles in a variety of television series. One of his more notable recent roles was in the third season of “Stranger Things” as Bruce, a journalist for The Hawkins Post.

Music: In addition to acting, Jake is a musician. He played drums for a band called “Sons of the Lawless.”

Physical Appearance: Jake Busey’s tall stature, striking features, and distinctive teeth make him a memorable presence in the roles he plays, much like his father.

Personal Life: Jake grew up in the entertainment industry and has spoken in interviews about witnessing the ups and downs of his father’s Hollywood career. This perspective has given him a unique insight into the challenges and rewards of the acting profession.

Marriage with Gary Busey

Like many Hollywood marriages, Gary Busey’s marriage to Judy was subject to media scrutiny, especially given Busey’s sometimes unpredictable behavior and his high-profile career. The couple eventually divorced in 1990 after over two decades of marriage.


After his divorce from Judy, Gary Busey had various relationships and was involved in a number of personal and professional endeavors. His life post-divorce included struggles with substance abuse and a significant motorcycle accident, which he fortunately recovered from.

Judy’s Husband Moves On

Gary Busey later became involved with Steffanie Sampson, with whom he has a son named Luke.

Her Career

Judy works as a professional photographer and is an actress. There’s still no data on where Judy can be seen performing on the screen. She has done very small roles in the movies and shows that she hasn’t been credited explicitly for her performance. That’s why you might notice that there are no records of her acting career despite being termed as an “actress”.


Judy has played several minor roles in the entertainment industry but hasn’t made it as big as her son and her ex-husband. It’s sad that she had to divorce while the real reason behind their divorce is still not clear. But overall, she has enjoyed a successful life as a mother of a successful kid.