Bernie Casey, former NFL player and first black actor to play James Bond's ally, passes away at 78

FP Staff

Sep 22, 2017 12:22:30 IST

Bernie Casey, former NFL player and the first black actor to play James Bond's CIA ally Felix Leiter has passed away at 78. Casey had acted in several hit films like Revenge of the Nerds, Brothers and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. The actor breathed his last on 19 September, in Los Angeles after a brief illness, as per a report by BBC.

Bernie Casey, former NFL player and first black actor to play James Bonds ally, passes away at 78

Bernie Casey. Image from Twitter/Cult Faction.

The man of many talents had retired from football, after an impeccable run, when he was 30. The aim was to focus on acting and he soon marked his Hollywood debut with Guns of the Magnificent Seven, a sequel to The Magnificent Seven.

After portraying secondary roles, he got his big break with Hit Man, wherein he played the titular character. From there, he went on to act in many mainstream films and play notable characters like Reuben Masters, in the 1973 film Cleopatra Jones.

After a successful stint on screen, he also took the director's mantle with The Dinner. Written, acted in and produced by Casey himself, the film was based on three black men and their discussions about race, sexuality and slavery at a dinner table.

Not just acting, the doyen was inclined towards painting and poetry, as well. A book containing his paintings and poems, Look at the People, was published in 1969. Hailed as a real life 'hero' by many, Casey served as an inspiration to many, especially the black community.

Updated Date: Sep 22, 2017 12:22:30 IST

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