‘Max Payne’ and ‘Rescue Me’ Star James McCaffrey Dies at 65

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
December 19, 2023Entertainment
‘Max Payne’ and ‘Rescue Me’ Star James McCaffrey Dies at 65
Actor James McCaffrey attends Screen Actors Guild Foundation 2nd Annual New York Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, on Sept. 29, 2014. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SAG Foundation)

James McCaffrey, who voiced “Max Payne” in the popular video game franchise and also starred in television shows including “Rescue Me,” has died, according to his agent. He was 65.

Mr. McCaffrey’s agent, David Elliot, confirmed Monday that the New York native passed away Sunday surrounded by family and friends.

His wife, actor Rochelle Bostrom, told The Hollywood Reporter that he died at home in Larchmont, a New York suburb of Manhattan, following a battle with myeloma, a form of cancer that affects white blood cells.

Fellow New York actor and “Entourage” star Kevin Dillon was among those who took to social media to honor Mr. McCaffrey.

“RIP James McCaffrey we were lucky to have known you. My best friend you will be missed.”

McCaffrey had a 35-year career in television and film—and, notably, as a voice actor for video games.

His biggest show was the FX drama “Rescue Me,” which ran from 2004 till 2011, where he portrayed Jimmy Keefe, a New York City firefighter killed on September 11, who appears in dreams to his former colleague, cousin, and best friend Tommy Gavin, the show’s lead character played by Denis Leary.

Mr. McCaffrey famously voiced Max Payne, a hard-boiled NYPD officer who becomes a vigilante after being framed for the murder of his partner, in the neo-noir video game of the same name released in July 2001.

Sam Lake, the video game’s writer and director, shared his grief on X.

“I’m heartbroken to hear the sad news of James McCaffrey’s passing,” he wrote. “We worked together for more than 25 years. He was a lovely man and a dear friend. He was a brilliant actor. No one could do what he did better than him.”

The success of the Max Payne game led to two additional sequels in 2003 and 2012.

“Birthdays are like regrets; they just keep coming,” Mr. McCaffrey narrated in his character’s gravelly voice in a YouTube video celebrating the game’s 20-year anniversary. “Each one a new scar that slows you down and drags you closer to your grave.”

“Happy birthday, Marx Payne,” he added, in his own voice.

“Trained at the Actor’s Studio, he never lost his love for creating characters,” Mr. Elliot wrote in a message. “However, his good looks often pushed him toward leading man roles.”

During his career, Mr. McCaffrey played in various TV and feature films, and guest-starred in numerous television series, including “Law & Order,” “The Big Easy,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Suits.”

Besides his wife, Mr. McCaffrey is survived by his daughter, Tiernan McCaffrey.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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