Jeffrey David “Jeff” Fahey was born on November 29th 1952 in Olean, New York, and raised in Buffalo, New York, from the age of ten. Fahey left home at the age of 17, subsequently hitchhiking to Alaska. He later backpacked through Europe, and worked on an Israeli kibbutz.
At the age of 25 Fahey won a full scholarship to dance at the Joffrey Ballet School. He performed in theaters across the United States and on Broadway. This led to his first major role on television playing Gary Corelli on the soap opera One Life to Live.
“(On being directed by Anthony Perkins in Psycho 3) That was pretty wild to be shooting at Universal Studios. It was my second film and to be on the backlot at night with the fake rain and lightning and you look up and there’s the Bates Motel house and all of a sudden Anthony is talking to you, man. There I am with a crew of one hundred and fifty people around, but you’re in between this little space called action and cut talking to Norman Bates – I mean my God! You know what I mean? It’s been a wild ride.”
In 1985 Fahey received his first major role playing Tyree in Silverado; the following year he starred in Psycho III as Duane Duke, a money desperate guitarist. That same year, Fahey guest starred on the Season 3 premiere of Miami Vice as gun dealer Eddie Kaye, famously destroying Detective Sonny Crockett’s Ferrari Daytona.
Further roles followed in Riot on 42nd St., Backfire, Split Decisions, True Blood, and Outback.
In 1990 Fahey starred alongside Marisa Tomei in the TV movie Parker Kane, and alongside Clint Eastwood in the Eastwood-directed White Hunter Black Heart.
In 1992, he starred alongside Pierce Brosnan in The Lawnmower Man. Then came roles in Sketch Artist, In The Company of Darkness, The Hit List, Blindsided, Woman of Desire, Freefall, and Wyatt Earp.
In 1995 he starred as Winston McBride on The Marshal and Sketch Artist II: Hands That See. This was followed up with Virtual Seduction, Serpent’s Lair, The Sweeper, Darkman III: Die Darkman Die, Operation Delta Force, Johnny 2.0, Revelation, The Seventh Scroll, Nash Bridges, Fallen Angels, Darkhunters, American Dreams, Locusts: The 8th Plague, and Manticore.
“I have an affinity for good roles in good films. I like a variety of parts, and if some of the good stuff happens to be in fantasy and horror, I do them.”
In 2006 and 2007 Fahey spent time in Afghanistan assisting the newly established American University of Afghanistan, and launching a project to assist orphans in Kabul.
“I got used to it [making movies]quickly, because it’s an easier job than what I was doing. I was making four or five films a year, mostly independent films, around the world. Out of the 41 films I’ve done, maybe seven of them have been studio films, I had an easy gig. So I would go from film to film. And there would be a new crew, new actors, new directors, new producers, new locations, some much worse than others. I’m not complaining about the work; I’m just saying that having a nice trailer on the set, a nice hotel, and a studio and a network behind your show is a lot easier than wondering why your tent is leaking.”
In 2007, he appeared in Grindhouse as J.T. (Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror) as well as Messages. He would with Rodriguez many times including 2010’s Machete.
As well as the big screen Fahey also used his skills as a character actor to light up the small screen including daredevil Dutch the Clutch in an episode of Psych, Frank Lapidus, the airplane and helicopter pilot of the research team sent to the island in Lost, Dr. Brian Stevens in Hawaii Five-0, Sheriff Howard ‘Duke’ Perkins in Under the Dome, Zachariah in Justified, Thomas Rusk in Texas Rising, Uncle Eddie in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Isaac Stone in The Librarians, and Quentin Turnbull in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
In 2013 a new production of the classic play Twelve Angry Men took place at the Garrick Theatre in London, running until March 2014. Fahey played the part of the last juror in the story to change his vote to not guilty. Other notable actors appearing in this production were Martin Shaw who played the part of juror number 8 (a role made famous in the 1957 film by Henry Fonda), Robert Vaughn and Nick Moran.
Fahey’s recent humanitarian work has revolved around the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, in which he has been focusing on the subject of warehousing, a practice in which the rights and mobility of refugees is restricted by a host country. Fahey’s work specifically has addressed the subject of warehoused Sahrawi refugees in Algeria.
“Eventually, I’ll build a ranch and raise horses.”