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Gary Busey Maria Elena Holly

Actor Gary Busey embraces Maria Elena Holly, the wife of Buddy Holly, after Holly received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sept. 7, 2011, in Los Angeles. Busey portrayed Buddy Holly in the movie "The Buddy Holly Story," a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor.

CLEAR LAKE — Actor Gary Busey, the star of “The Buddy Holly Story,” will be appearing on Feb. 2, 2013, at the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

Surf Ballroom director Laurie Lietz confirmed Busey’s appearance Friday.

“Actually last year he had been performing in Minneapolis (during the 2012 Winter Dance Party) and we had made an attempt and tried to get him to come down and just do a quick little surprise visit which didn’t work out. But he had expressed interest and said he was going to be here in 2013,” Lietz said.

Busey announced his visit to the Surf during a talk show appearance in Los Angeles Friday morning.

Friday would have been Buddy Holly’s 76th birthday.

“The Buddy Holly Story” starring Busey as Buddy Holly earned Busey an Academy Award nomination for best actor. The film was released in 1978.

“He is thrilled to be here on Feb. 2. He signed the contract and he is off and running. He is so excited he can’t contain himself,” Lietz said.

“I knew he was really excited to tell people about it and to be here.”

The rest of the 2013 Winter Dance Party lineup will be announced at a later date.

“It is always a thrill to have a movie star in the building. I think he has the persona. He understands the meaning and the history and what the event is about,” Lietz said.

“So for us to have someone who has called us and wants to pay tribute in what ever way, to Buddy, Ritchie and the Bopper and be part of our event, that always excites us.”

The Winter Dance Party celebrates the music of Holly, Valens and J. P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, who died in a plane crash following a Winter Dance Party appearance at the Surf Ballroom on Feb. 3, 1959.

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