Some sad news is circulating through the entertainment stratosphere with word that Rescue Me actor and video game voice actor for characters Max Payne and Agent Alex Casey (Alan Wake II), James McCaffrey, died Sunday of multiple myeloma cancer. He was 65. McCaffrey’s manager says he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.
A New York native, McCaffrey’s star started rising when he appeared on the 1991-93 TV legal drama series Civil Wars. In 1996, he appeared as Mac Swift on 13 episodes of the Dick Wolf series Swift Justice. Wolf and McCaffrey hit it off, paving the way for collaboration across more projects, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In addition to taking on the TV sector with roles in Viper, Sex and the City, As the World Turns, and Beautiful People, McCaffrey’s most notable live-action role is for the firefighter drama Rescue Me.
Alongside Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, and Steven Pasquale, McCaffrey plays James Xavier “Jimmy” Keefe, a firefighter with Ladder Company 62 of the New York City Fire Department and Tommy Gavin’s cousin. A fan-favorite for many years, Keefe perished on the show during an episode focusing on the 9-11 tragedy.
On another end of the entertainment spectrum, McCaffrey was a beloved voice actor with prominent roles in Remedy’s universe of interconnected games, including Max Payne, Control, and Alan Wake II. McCaffrey voiced Max Payne throughout the character’s gritty action series, which was famous for its bullet-time game mechanic. He pulled double-duty for Remedy’s Alan Wake game franchise by voicing Thomas Zane, a well-known and respected Finnish auteur filmmaker, and Alex Casey, a hard-boiled detective searching for answers alongside Saga Anderson in Alan Wake II.
Damn. I’m going through Alan Wake 2 in my spare time, and Alex Casey is one of my favorite characters in the game. I was playing the game last night and played through some of Casey’s best scenes. It makes me sad to think that when I return to it tonight, the actor who voices Agent Casey is no longer with us. I am glad McCaffrey saw the game get its flowers at The Game Awards earlier this month, though.
Remedy Entertainment’s creative director, Sam Lake, took to Twitter to remember his dear friend:
I’m heartbroken to hear the sad news of James McCaffrey’s passing. We worked together for more than 25 years. He was a lovely man and a dear friend. He was a key part of the Remedy family. He was a brilliant actor. No one could do what he did better than him. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/JLcEIMUT43— Sam Lake (@SamLakeRMD) December 18, 2023
We here at JoBlo wish Mr. McCaffrey’s family, friends, and fans our sincere condolences during this difficult time. James left a hell of a mark on the entertainment industry, and we look forward to enjoying his work for years to come. Safe passage, Mr. McCaffrey.