From the football field to the film lots, Bernie Casey left an indelible impression with a presence that couldn't be ignored, and we're sad to share the news that the actor has passed away at the age of 78.
According to multiple outlets, including THR, Casey passed away after a "brief illness" at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Before he entered the world of movies, Casey was a star in his own right as a track and field standout at Bowling Green State University. After making it to the finals of the 1960 United States Olympic Trials, Casey was a first round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers and would go on to play eight years in the NFL as a wide receiver, raking in 40 touchdowns and over 5,000 receiving yards.
With his life as a professional athlete behind him in the late 1960s, Casey turned his attention to acting, beginning a career that would become just as memorable (if not more so) as his time on the gridiron. Casey's first acting role was in Guns of the Magnificent Seven, and there was no looking back from there, as he went on to amass over 75 screen credits in a career that spanned four decades.
Casey's acting career was an eclectic one, as his roles resonated with multiple generations in diverse genres. He played Dr. Henry Pride in Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, The Gargoyle in 1972's Gargoyles, Peters in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Major Jeff Spender in The Martian Chronicles (a miniseries adaptation of Ray Bradbury's seminal work), Leiter in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, U.N. Jefferson in Revenge of the Nerds, Mr. Ryan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Robinson in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness, to name a few.
Casey's command of the screen through a wide range of characters will live on for future generations to enjoy, and our thoughts are with Casey's family and friends during this difficult time.