Old School Americana & Nostalgia


James McCaffrey, ‘Rescue Me’ Actor and Voice of Max Payne, Dead at 65

James McCaffrey, ‘Rescue Me’ Actor and Voice of Max Payne, Dead at 65

James McCaffrey, who played firefighter Jimmy Keefe on Rescue Me and voiced the title character in the Max Payne video games, has died. According to his manager, McCaffrey had been diagnosed with cancer before his passing, as reported by Variety. He was 65.

Kevin Dillon, a close friend and fellow actor, paid tribute to McCaffrey on Instagram. He shared a heartfelt photo of the two, arms wrapped around each other. “James McCaffrey we were lucky to have known you. My best friend you will be missed,” Dillon wrote alongside the image.

James McCaffrey’s ‘Rescue Me’ Role Was Said to be His Favorite

James McCaffrey gained significant recognition for his portrayal of Jimmy on FX’s Rescue Me. Throughout the show’s seven seasons (2004-2011), Jimmy’s demise on 9/11 haunted his friend and fellow New York firefighter, Tommy Gavin (played by Denis Leary). McCaffrey reportedly said it was his favorite role.

He provided the voice for Max Payne, the vengeful ex-NYPD officer turned DEA agent, whose wife and daughter were brutally slain by drug addicts. This iconic video game series spawned multiple installments in 2001, 2003, 2008, and 2012. It also inspired a film adaptation starring Mark Wahlberg.

“I’m not a big fan of video games, and I never have been,” McCaffrey admitted in a 2020 interview. “The first time I did Max Payne, it was, like, six hours a day in a sound booth, and it was about 400 pages of script. But, I’ve never seen it, I’ve never played it, I have no desire to. I lack the proper appreciation for video games.” However, this lack of appreciation didn’t stop James McCaffrey from voicing FBI agent Alex Casey in the Alan Wake video games in 2010 and this year.

Hailing from Albany, New York, McCaffrey has been an esteemed member of The Actors Studio since 1987. Notably, he also established his own theater company, The Workhouse Theatre, located in Tribeca.

James McCaffrey also appeared in roles on TV shows such as Swift JusticeLaw & Order: Criminal Intent and SVUMadam Secretaryand  Blue Bloods. He also had guest stints on Viper, Jessica Jones, As the World Turns, and Sex and the City.

His film roles include 1996’s The Truth About Cats & Dogs2003”s American Splendor and 2004’s She Hate Me. Surviving him is his wife, with whom he collaborated on Viper and stage. They also have a daughter named Tiarnan.