Former professional football player, actor and activist Bernie Casey died today at the age of 78.
Casey had a varied and interesting career in Hollywood and some of his roles will be long remembered. Here are some of my favorite Bernie Casey roles.
Never Say Never Again
In the 1983 film that showcased Sean Connery as an aging 007, Bernie Casey played longtime CIA agent and friend Felix Leiter. The two men must team up to stop SPECTRE from detonating two nuclear bombs at locations across the globe. This was the first time an African American man played Leiter until Goeffrey Wright took on the role in Casino Royale.
Revenge of the Nerds
In this 1984 comedy classic Bernie Casey plays U.N Jefferson, leader of the all black Lambda Lambda Lambda Fraternity. When a group of nerds want to start a chapter of the fraternity on their campus, U.N. gives them a shot and finds himself admiring the group of misfits.
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka
In the 1988 Keenan Ivory Wayans send up of classic blaxploitation films, Casey played John Slade. A mixture of Superfly and Shaft, Slade was a local hero in the ghetto who gave up the hero life until a young protege finds him and convinces him that the neighborhood still needs him.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
In the 1989 comedy Bernie Casey played Mr. Ryan, Bill and Ted’s history teacher. He is the one who tasks the boys to complete their history assignment in order to pass.