Bernard Terry "Bernie" Casey (born June 8, 1939), is an American actor, poet, and retired professional football player.
Casey was born in Wyco, West Virginia, the son of Flossie (Coleman) and Frank Leslie Casey. He graduated from East High School in Columbus, Ohio.
Casey was a record-breaking track and field athlete for Bowling Green State University. As one of the nation's best high-hurdlers, Casey earned All-America recognition and a trip to the finals at the 1960 United States Olympic Trials. In addition to national honors, Bernie Casey won three consecutive Mid-American Conference titles in the high-hurdles, 1958-60.
Casey was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1961 as the 9th pick in the first round. He played for eight NFL seasons: six with the 49ers and two with the Los Angeles Rams.
Casey had a productive career, and his most famous moment came in 1967 for the Rams in the next to last game of the season against the Green Bay Packers. The Rams needed to win to keep their division title hopes alive, but trailed the Packers 24-20 with under a minute to play. The Rams then blocked a punt and ran it back to the 5 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Casey caught the winning touchdown pass from Roman Gabriel with under 30 seconds to play to give the Rams a 27-24 victory. The Rams defeated the Colts the following week to win the Coastal Division title.
In a piece for NFL Films, he expressed his disillusionment with the NFL and professional sports in general, feeling like his creativity and individuality were thwarted by conservative elements in the league and ownership hierarchy.
Casey began his acting career in the film Guns of the Magnificent Seven, a sequel to The Magnificent Seven. Then he played opposite fellow former NFL star Jim Brown in the crime dramas ...tick...tick...tick... and Black Gunn. He also played Tamara Dobson's love interest in 1973's Cleopatra Jones. From there he moved between performances on television and the big screen such as playing team captain for the Chicago Bears in the TV film Brian's Song. In 1979 he starred as widower Mike Harris in the NBC television series Harris and Company, the first weekly American TV drama series centered on a black family. In 1980, he played Major Jeff Spender in the television mini-series The Martian Chronicles, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury.
In 1981, Casey played a detective opposite Burt Reynolds in the feature film Sharky's Machine, directed by Reynolds. He reunited with Reynolds a few years later for the crime story Rent-a-Cop.
In 1983, he played the role of CIA agent Felix Leiter in the non-Eon Productions James Bond film Never Say Never Again. He co-starred in Revenge of the Nerds and had a comedic role as Colonel Rhombus in the John Landis film Spies Like Us. Casey also appeared in the movie Hit Man.
Also during his career, he worked with such well-known directors as Martin Scorsese in his 1972 film Boxcar Bertha and appeared on such television series as The Streets of San Francisco and as U. N. Jefferson, the national head of the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity in Revenge of the Nerds.
He played a version of himself, and other football players turned actors, in Keenen Ivory Wayans's 1988 comedic film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. He played a high school teacher in the cult-classic Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, released in 1989. Casey appeared as a very influential prisoner with outside connections in Walter Hill's Another 48 Hrs.. In 1994, Casey guest-starred in a two-episode story arc in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (along with series star Avery Brooks) as the Maquis leader Lieutenant Commander Cal Hudson, and in 1995 as a guest-star on both SeaQuest 2032 as Admiral VanAlden and Babylon 5 as Derek Cranston.
He has continued working as an actor. In 2006, he co-starred in the film When I Find the Ocean alongside such actors as Lee Majors.
Casey resides in Los Angeles, California. Casey is a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Casey enjoys painting and writing poetry. Look at the People, a book of his paintings and poems, was published by Doubleday in 1969.
- Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) - Cassie
- ...tick...tick...tick... (1970) - George Harley
- Black Chariot (1971)
- Brian's Song (1971) - J.C. Caroline
- Boxcar Bertha (1972) - Von Morton
- Gargoyles (1972) - The Gargoyle
- Black Gunn (1972) - Seth
- Hit Man (1972) - Tyrone Tackett
- Cleopatra Jones (1973) - Reuben
- Maurie (1973) - Maurice Stokes
- Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) - Officer Larry Atkins
- Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976) - Dr. Henry Pride
- The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) - Mr. Peters
- Brothers (1977) - David Thomas
- It Happened at Lakewood Manor (1977) - Vince
- Sharky's Machine (1981) - Arch
- Never Say Never Again (1983) - Felix Leiter
- Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - U.N. Jefferson
- Spies Like Us (1985) - Colonel Rhumbus
- Steele Justice (1987) - Det. Tom Reese
- Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) - Maj. Gen. Hadley (segment "The Unknown Soldier") (uncredited)
- Rent-A-Cop (1987) - Lemar
- Backfire (1988) - Clinton James
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) - John Slade
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) - Mr. Ryan
- Another 48 Hrs. (1990) - Kirkland Smith
- Chains of Gold (1991) - Sergeant Falco
- Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation (1992) - U.N. Jefferson
- Under Siege (1992) - Commander Harris
- The Cemetery Club (1993) - John
- Street Knight (1993) - Raymond
- Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994) - U.N. Jefferson
- The Glass Shield (1994) - James Locket
- In the Mouth of Madness (1995) - Robinson
- Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995) - Mr. Walter
- Tomcats (2001) - Officer Hurley
- Jim Brown: All-American (2002) - Himself
- On the Edge (2002) - Rex Stevens
- When I Find the Ocean (2006) - Amos Jackson
- Vegas Vampires (2007) - Bloodhound Bill