Today we mourn the loss of another iconic and irreplaceable talent. James McCaffrey, actor and the voice of the titular character Max Payne in the beloved neo-noir shooter games, has passed away. He was 65.
News of McCaffrey’s passing first came from Instagram when actor Kevin Dillon (Blue Bloods, Entourage, Poseidon) shared a picture of the two, stating:
#rip James McCaffrey. We were lucky to have known you. My best friend you will be missed 🙏🏼
Shortly after, TMZ confirmed the actor’s death, saying that McCaffrey “passed away Sunday surrounded by friends and family” after a battle with multiple myeloma, a rare cancer that starts in the bone marrow. Mayo Clinic estimates that there are less than 200,000 cases in the U.S. each year.
Having starred most recently in Alan Wake II as Alex Casey, the Max-Payne-like detective who accompanies Saga Anderson and appears to Alan Wake in dream-like visions in the Dark Place, McCaffrey also lent his voice to the role of Zachariah Trench in Remedy’s Control. But of course, many in the gaming community were likely first introduced to him during his pitch-perfect performance as the broken former detective Max Payne in all three games.
Remedy Entertainment responds to James McCaffrey’s passing
In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Remedy Entertainment released the following statement:
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of our beloved friend and collaborator James McCaffrey, the iconic voice of Max Payne and Alex Casey. His remarkable talent not only gave life to our characters but also left an enduring impact on our community. Our hearts go out to his family in this time of loss.
Sam Lake, Remedy’s creative director, and original face of Max Payne and Alex Casey, wrote:
I’m heartbroken to hear the sad news of James McCaffrey’s passing. We worked together for more than 25 years. He was a lovely man and a dear friend. He was a key part of the Remedy family. He was a brilliant actor. No one could do what he did better than him.
James McCaffrey also had an impressive career in TV and film, first appearing in Bill II: on His Own: The Bill Sackter Story, as well as episodes of As the World Turns, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, Rescue Me, and Jessica Jones.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else could deliver such a perfectly fitting performance as the titular character of the Max Payne games. I can’t hear the series’ memorable piano melody without also hearing McCaffrey’s voice accompanying it. He will be missed.
Update 12/18/2023 12:18 p.m. ET: Added comment from Remedy and Sam Lake.