Alan Wake and Max Payne voice actor James McCaffrey has died at 65

James McCaffrey at the premiere of Compliance in 2012.
(Image credit: Getty Images / Gary Gershoff / WireImage)

James McCaffrey, the actor arguably best known within the gaming community for voicing Max Payne, and more recently Alex Casey in Alan Wake 2 and its predecessor, has died at the age of 65.

A representative for McCaffrey told TMZ - which first reported the news - that the actor was previously diagnosed with a type of cancer, multiple myeloma. He reportedly passed away on Sunday (December 17), and was surrounded with family and friends.

In a statement released to TMZ, McCaffrey’s representative said: “One of Dick Wolf's proteges, McCaffrey went on to a successful 35 year career in television and film. Trained at the Actor's Studio, he never lost his love for creating characters; however, his good looks often pushed him toward leading man roles.”

As well as his huge filmography, with roles in numerous TV shows and movies such as Rescue Me, Compliance and Viper, McCaffrey voiced a number of iconic video game characters. Beyond the Max Payne series’ titular protagonist and Saga Anderson’s FBI partner Alex Casey - who he voiced in both Alan Wake and its 2023 sequel - he also featured as the voice of filmmaker Thomas Zane in the first Alan Wake. He was Zachariah Trench - aka the director of the Federal Bureau of Control in 2019’s Control, and protagonist Edward Carnby in Alone in the Dark (2008).

American actor Kevin Dillon (best known for his role as Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase in the TV series Entourage) paid his respects to McCaffrey earlier today on Instagram, sharing a picture of the two together. He wrote: “RIP James McCaffrey we were lucky to have known you. My best friend[,] you will be missed.” 

Remedy Entertainment - the developer of the Alan Wake games as well as Control and the first two Max Payne titles, has released a statement in which it gave its condolences to McCaffrey's family. The studio wrote: "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 gave life to our characters and left an enduring impact on our community. Our hearts go out to his family."

The publisher of the Max Payne series and developer of Max Payne 3, Rockstar Games, also published a statement on Twitter / X. It wrote: "Rest in Peace James McCaffrey, the inimitable and commanding presence who brought Max Payne to life."

Alan Wake 2, which McCaffrey had a key role in, is one of the best horror games available to play right now, and is one of TechRadar Gaming’s games of the year for 2023.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.