Wow! The great ones are falling fast and furious this year and we have lost another one as wonderful actor Bernie Casey has passed away at the age of 78.
He died Tuesday after a brief illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his representative notified reporters.
Bernard Casey was born on June 8, 1939, in Wyco, W.Va. He was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and attended Bowling Green on a football scholarship (he returned to the school years later to earn a master’s in fine arts).
An elegant 6-foot-4 halfback and flanker, Casey led the Falcons to the national “small college” championship in 1959 and was named to the Little All-American team. He also excelled in the high hurdles for the track team and competed in the 1960 U.S. Olympic trials.
The San Francisco 49ers made Casey the ninth overall pick in the NFL Draft, and he spent six seasons with the team (1961-66) as quarterback John Brodie’s favorite receiver. In one game in his final year with the team, he caught 12 passes for 225 yards.
Casey then spent two solid years with the Rams but shockingly retired in his athletic prime before the 1969 season, finishing his pro career with 359 catches for 5,444 yards and 40 touchdowns. Just 30, he wanted to concentrate on acting, painting, and poetry.
He then put all his attention toward acting and began taking small roles in both TV and film in a wide variety of roles including some of his most famous in Boxcar Bertha, Never Say Never Again, Revenge of the Nerds, Another 48 Hrs., I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and much more.
Horror and Science Fiction fans loved him for his many exploits into our favorite genre including a wonderful role (albeit unrecognizable in full prosthetic makeup) as the leader of the monsters in the classic made-for-tv-movie Gargoyles from 1972. He also appeared in Ants!, John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, Vegas Vampires as well as sci-fi roles in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Amazon Women on the Moon, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Time Trax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, SeaQuest 2032, Babylon 5, and so many more memorable roles in comedy, action, drama, etc.
Casey was world-renowned for his painting and poetry with his art showcased in galleries around the world.
Bernie Casey had a long and fruitful life and was an example of a man who lived life to the fullest. I can only hope to accomplish a small portion of what he did in life. He played so many wonderful roles with many that stood out but for me, I will always remember him as the lead gargoyle who scared the crap out of me when I was five years old.
As you cross that bridge to your eternal home, know you have left a legacy that will not be forgotten.
R.I.P. Bernard Casey June 8, 1939 – September 19, 2017
Source: The Hollywood Reporter