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Bernie Casey

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Information about Bernie Casey

Profile image of Bernie Casey

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Film Actor
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
I can do this.

Birthplace

Born:
6/8/1939
Birth Location:
Wyco, West Virginia

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Film Actor
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
I can do this.

Birthplace

Born:
6/8/1939
Birth Location:
Wyco
See how Bernie Casey is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Bernie Casey was born Bernard Terry Casey on June 8, 1939, in the small coal mining community of Wyco, West Virginia, to Frank Leslie Casey and Flossie Coleman Casey. While Casey was still a youth, he and his family moved to Columbus where he attended Garfield Elementary School, Champion Junior High, and Columbus East High School. Casey had already shown an aptitude for painting and drawing, and soon developed his athletic abilities as well, particularly for basketball and football.

Casey attended Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio in 1957, thanks in part to an athletic scholarship, where he remained intent on becoming an artist. Casey excelled in football while attending BGSU, and was considered a key player in the school’s 1959 championship season. Casey was named a member of the Little All American Team, and was also competitive in track and field. Casey received his B.S. degree in Art Education from BGSU in 1961, and later received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the same school.

In 1961, after receiving his B.S. degree, Casey was drafted into the NFL in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he would spend six seasons, followed by two years with the Los Angeles Rams. In the off-season, Casey returned to Bowling Green State University, in order to complete his M.F.A. degree, which he received in 1966. After his standout 1967 athletic season in which Casey caught 53 passes for a career-high 871 yards and eight touchdowns, Casey was named to the 1968 Pro Bowl team. Shortly thereafter, Casey became disillusioned with the NFL and professional sports in general, and decided to return to his creative pursuits.

In 1969, Casey appeared in his first film, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, a sequel to The Magnificent Seven; that same year, he wrote Look at the People: Poems and Paintings, a book of art and poetry. Casey would publish two similar books later on in his career: Where is the Revolution? And Other Poems in 1973, and Silent Screams in 1983. In 1971, Casey produced an independent film entitled Bernie Casey: Black Artist, which focused on his thoughts and observations as a painter. As an artist, Casey has produced more than 30 solo exhibitions; he received an honorary doctorate degree from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia, where he served for twenty years as chairman of the board and advocated for arts education.

Casey has made over fifty-seven appearances in film and television, including the movies Cleopatra Jones, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Revenge of the Nerds, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure; and TV programs such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and L.A. Law. In 1997, Casey produced, wrote, directed and acted in The Dinner, an allegorical drama.

Casey passed away on September 19, 2017.

See how Bernie Casey is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bernie Casey's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey describes his childhood communities in Ohio and West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey talks about his parents' marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bernie Casey describes his family life in Wyco, West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bernie Casey recalls butchering hogs in Wyco, West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bernie Casey recalls how his family stored provisions in West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bernie Casey remembers moving with his family to Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey remembers Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey describes the demographics of his community in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey describes his community at Garfield Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey remembers Champion Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey recalls his early artistic and athletic talents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey recalls the opportunities for black students during segregation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey recalls his early awareness of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey remembers East High School in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey describes the lack of career prospects for black students
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey recalls his aspirations during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey recalls his scholarship to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey describes his relationship with his parents in his adult life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey remembers Bowling Green State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey recalls racial discrimination at Bowling Green State University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey recalls racial discrimination at Bowling Green State University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey reflects upon the increase in black professional athletes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey talks about being drafted by the National Football League
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey recalls uproar over his friendship with a white female classmate
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey recalls graduating from Bowling Green State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey recalls his career with the San Francisco 49ers football team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey describes his art career in California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bernie Casey remembers his acting training with Jeff Corey
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey recalls establishing his art career in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey reflects upon his successful careers in several fields
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey recalls joining the board of Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey recalls recruiting sports coaches for Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey describes the growth of Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey recalls his transition from professional football to acting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey describes the challenge of beginning a career later in life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bernie Casey recalls his early acting roles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey recalls acting in the movie 'Brian's Song'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey talks about acting in blaxploitation films
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bernie Casey talks about his roles based on historical African Americans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bernie Casey recalls working on the NBC series 'Harris and Company,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bernie Casey recalls working on the NBC series 'Harris and Company,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bernie Casey talks about his acting roles on television
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bernie Casey reflects upon the legacy of the 'Roots' miniseries
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bernie Casey reflects upon his challenges as a former professional athlete
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bernie Casey talks about the history of race in America
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bernie Casey reflects upon his legacy