Bernie Casey, who died on Wednesday, ended his NFL career while still in his prime to become an actor. The 78-year-old former wide receiver is best known for roles in “Revenge of the Nerds” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” But Casey, who was also an esteemed poet and painter, costarred in more than 80 projects for television and the big screen. His acting resume ranges from blaxploitation films to major mainstream movies.
1. Another 48 Hrs. (1990) starring Eddie Murphy, Casey played the role of Kirkland Smith, a prisoner who protects Reggie Hammond in jail.
2. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) in the film starring Keanu Reeves, Casey played the school teacher Mr. Ryan.
3. Boxcar Bertha (1972) Casey played a heroic former slave and train robber in Martin Scorsese‘s film.
4. Brian’s Song (1971) In this emotion movie about the friendship between Chicago Bears teammates Gayle Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and Brian Piccolo (James Caan), Casey played the role of J.C. Caroline.
5. Brothers (1977) Casey had the lead role in this well-received film about Black Panther Party activist George Jackson, who was killed in prison during what officials said was a prison breakout.
6. Cleopatra Jones (1973) In this blaxploitation classic, Casey has a lead role as Reuben Masters, the boyfriend of undercover special agent Cleopatra “Cleo” Jones.
7. The Dinner (1997) Casey wrote, directed and starred in this movie in which three prominent Black men discuss Black self-loathing, slavery and homophobia over dinner.
8. Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) This was Casey’s debut film, a spaghetti western about hired gunfighters.
9. Maurie (1973) Casey starred in the film about NBA basketball star Maurice Stokes who became paralyzed after hitting his head on the court during a game.
10. Never Say Never Again (1983) He played the role of CIA official Felix Leiter, opposite Sean Connery, in this James Bond film.