'Revenge of the Nerds' Star Bernie Casey Dead at 78

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Bernie Casey

Bernie Casey, best known for his roles in "Revenge of the Nerds" and 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, ' has passed away recently following a brief illness at the age of 78.

In his earlier years, Bernie was a standout athlete at Bowling Green State University, where he was an All-American track and field athlete, and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round in 1961.

A standout athlete, Casey was the ninth first-round National Football League draft pick in 1961, and played wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and then the Los Angeles Rams over eight seasons, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1967. His portrayal of characters were wide and he experimented with various roles: from former slave and train robber in Martin Scorsese's 1972 film "Boxcar Bertha" to detective (starring opposite Burt Reynolds in 1981's "Sharky's Machine") to Central Intelligence Agency agent (James Bond film "Never Say Never Again").

Casey also appeared opposite Sean Connery in the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again. He also directed the 1997 film The dinner, which he also wrote and starred in.

"It was just a gig", Casey told the Washington Post in 1977 about football. He later appeared in the two TV movie sequels.

As he pursued his visual art, Casey also excelled in performance art by acting in dozens of movies over the next few decades, including some of the most heralded in their genre, such as blaxploitation classic Cleopatra Jones and 80's comedy classic Revenge of the Nerds. That can be frustrating. "His art makes my road less rocky, and my path less crooked", Angelou said in 2003.

Casey steadfastly refused to be defined exclusively by his athletic prowess. "I want to think in my instance, it's the beginning".

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