Home / Game / James McCaffrey, voice of Max Payne and Alan Wake games, dies at 65

James McCaffrey, voice of Max Payne and Alan Wake games, dies at 65

The actor, who also starred in film and television for decades, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer

James McCaffrey, the actor who provided the voice of the titular character of the Max Payne video games, has died aged 65.

The actor died on Sunday at his home in Larchmont, New York, having been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, his wife, the actor Rochelle Boström confirmed.

Prior to becoming a name in video game voice acting, McCaffrey worked in both film and television for decades. His breakout role was the police drama New York Undercover. He also appeared in small roles in Dick Wolf shows Swift Justice, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: SVU; and in Viper, Sex and the City, As the World Turns, Madam Secretary, Jessica Jones, She’s Gotta Have It, Revenge, and Blue Bloods.

His film career included small roles in The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Nick and Jane and American Splendour.

McCaffrey said his favourite role was in Rescue Me, in which he played Jimmy Keefe, a New York firefighter who died in 9/11; Jimmy haunts Denis Leary’s main character in all seven seasons of the show.

“A friend who grew up two houses away from us when we were in high school and his brother were in the towers, and one brother got out and the other did not,” McCaffrey said in a 2020 interview. “I had a couple good acquaintances who were in the fire department … I go down there every September 11th with another buddy of mine, an actor who lost his best friend in the South Tower.”

But he was perhaps best known as the voice of Max Payne, a former NYPD officer turned DEA agent who wants to avenge his murdered wife and daughter. McCaffrey played the character in all three Max Payne video games, which were released in 2001, 2003 and 2012. Mark Wahlberg played the role in the 2008 film adaptation, in which McCaffrey also had a cameo.

“I’m not a big fan of video games, and I never have been,” he once said in an 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.”

Despite this, he also voiced Thomas Zane in the 2010 game Alan Wake, then Alex Casey in the 2023 sequel Alan Wake 2, an FBI agent who takes a special interest in the titular protagonist. He also provided voices in games Area 51 and Alone in the Dark.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.

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