James Hayden

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James Hayden
Hayden as Patrick 'Patsy' Goldberg in the film Once Upon a Time in America, 1984
Born(1953-11-25)November 25, 1953
DiedNovember 8, 1983(1983-11-08) (aged 29)

James Hayden (November 25, 1953 – November 8, 1983) was an American actor from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Apart from starring on Broadway and in various movies, he is perhaps best known for playing Patrick "Patsy" Goldberg in the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America.

Life and career[edit]

Hayden trained and served as a medic in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.[1] Upon his discharge he returned to New York and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began working as an actor.[1]

In 1983, the year of his death, he portrayed a heroin addict in the critically acclaimed play American Buffalo, co-starring with his close friend Al Pacino.[2][3] Hayden died of a heroin overdose during the production.

In 1984, during the making of The Pope of Greenwich Village, Mickey Rourke dedicated his performance to the memory of Hayden.


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Cruising Cockpit Coke Man (scenes deleted)
1980 Marilyn: The Untold Story TV Movie
1980 The First Deadly Sin Young Policeman
1981 The Intruder Within Harry Colman TV Movie
1981 The Nesting GI #1
1981 The Patricia Neal Story Martin Sheen TV Movie
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Patrick 'Patsy' Goldberg Posthumous release


  1. ^ a b Staff report (November 21, 1983). Obituary. Time
  2. ^ Rich, Frank (October 28, 1983). Theater: Al Pacino, 'American Buffalo.' New York Times
  3. ^ Nightingale, Benedict (November 6, 1983). Stage View: 'American Buffalo' Proves Its Quality. New York Times

External links[edit]