Beginning our 8th year and over 3000 pages. A blog for fans of Track and Field from the 1950's and 60's, culled from various articles in sports journals of the day with added commentaries from readers who lived and ran and coached in that era.
We're the equivalent of an American Legion post of Track and Field but without cheap beer. You may contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or write a comment at the end of a given posting.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
V 7 N. 64 Bernie Casey, national class hurdler R.I.P.
Bernie Casey, Bowling Green State University, national class hurdler in the late 1950s and early 1960s died this week as reported below in Variety. Bernie won the Mid American Conference 120HH titles in 1958,59, and 60. Casey competed in the 1960 Olympic Trials where he finished sixth in 14.2. He then played flanker with the San Francisco 49er for six years. Bernie Casey followed football into the arts world, acting, writing, and directing in multiple films. He was also an accomplished artist and published poet.
Casey made his film debut in the 1969 sequel “Guns of the Magnificent Seven.” He then acted alongside fellow former NFL star Jim Brown in the crime dramas “…tick…tick…tick…” and “Black Gunn.” He played the title role in the 1972 science fiction TV film “Gargoyles,” and then portrayed Tamara Dobson’s love interest in 1973’s “Cleopatra Jones.”
With Burt Reynolds in Sharkey's Revenge
Casey wrote, directed, produced, and starred in “The Dinner,” a 1997 film centering on three black men who discuss slavery, black self-loathing, and homophobia. That same year, he loosely portrayed a version George Jackson, a member of the Black Panther Party who was killed, in the drama “Brothers.”
In Martin Scorsese’s “Boxcar Bertha,” he played a heroic former slave and train robber, and then a recurring character in Bond films, CIA agent Felix Leiter. In 1981, he portrayed a detective opposite another former NFL player-turned-actor, Burt Reynolds, in “Sharky’s Machine,” which was directed by Reynolds. The two worked together a few years later on “Rent-a-Cop.”
His prolific acting career also included films such as “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Black Chariot,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “In the Mouth of Madness,” “The Glass Shield,” “Mr. Hyde,” “Once Upon a Time … When We Were Colored,” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” On television, he was in “Roots: The Next Generations,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and “Bay City Blues.”
Casey was born in Wyco, W.Va., and raised in Columbus, Ohio, before attending Bowling Green State University on a football scholarship. There, in addition to his football successes, he was a record-breaking track and field athlete, and competed in the 1960 U.S. Olympic trials.
He was picked ninth overall in the NFL draft, and spent six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before going to the Rams for two years. He retired at age 30 and finished his professional career with 359 catches for 5,444 yards and 40 touchdowns.
After leaving the NFL, he dabbled in acting, painting, and poetry. Casey received an honorary doctorate degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He advocated for arts education and served as chairman of the board at the Georgia school. Casey was both a published poet and painter, whose work appeared in galleries across the globe.
Bernie Casey R.I.P.
I remember, Bernie Casey as a Bowling Green Hurdler. I believe that it was at the 1961 MAC Track & Field Championships
Bernie Casey, was holding forth at one end of the track infield, as he sat in a lawn chair, while more than a few of us got the courage to go over to him, to wish him well in the NFL, etc..He was a celebrity to most of us.
Later, when I moved to Los Angeles, Carl Reid, My WMU roomate& teammate, Nick Kitt from Miami of Ohio and 2-3 other guys got season tickets to the LA Rams home games, where we first saw Bernie Casey as a " S.F. Forty-Niner and later as an LA Ram. I could not believe it when the Forty-Niners traded him to the Rams. I thought they were crazy! John Bork Jr.
Keep me updated on whatever you have on Marc's progress. We all hang by a thread. Just reading about Puerto Rico. Damn, what suffering on top of the massive economic problem. I'm sitting here under the 50 foot redwood I planted as a shoot 30 years ago, slightly upset because it is only 53 degrees so I have to wear a sweater and a bathrobe. Everything is relative. Roy Mason
I really enjoyed the posting about Bernie Casey, even though it was about his death. I always admired him because of his multiple talents and multiple sport. He reminded me a lot of Wilbur Wright grad Bing Davis who was also an artist. Those old pictures were really interesting as well, bringing back memories and also information about an era previous to my track involvement. Bill Schnier