Alex Buzo was born in Sydney. He was educated at The Armidale School, the International School in Geneva and the University of New South Wales from which he graduated BA in 1965. Buzo saw his first play through a workshop production in 1967, but the following year he came to national attention with Norm and Ahmed, primarily through a prosecution for obscenity. Buzo's exploration of alienation in this play has remained a common theme in his work. This is often delivered with a clever use of Australian idiom and a critical eye for the hollow desires of educated and prosperous Australians. Buzo's best-known plays are Rooted (1969), The Front Room Boys (1969) and Coralie Lansdowne says No (1974). In the early 1970s Rooted was produced in the USA and in England. In 1972, Buzo was awarded the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal for his plays Tom and Macquarie. Many of Buzo's plays continue to be taught in high schools and universities. This exposure has been assisted by film and television versions of Norm and Ahmed and Rooted.
In addition to his plays, Buzo wrote novels and several books on sport, tautology, language and theatre. He adapted novels for film and television, including adaptations of Charles Dickens stories. He was co-author of the script for the 1969 film Ned Kelly and was writer-in-residence at many theatre companies, schools and universities.