Olean-born actor Jeff Fahey can be found on the hit ABC drama "Lost" this season.
Mr. Fahey's manager Jeff Goldberg confirmed Tuesday during a telephone interview from his office in Beverly Hills that Mr. Fahey will join the "Lost" cast.
"He is certainly involved with 'Lost' this year, but I'm not really at liberty to discuss it," Mr. Goldberg said.
He said the "Lost" producers are protective of new characters and plot developments as the show enters its fourth season Thursday (9 p.m. EST).
When pressed for details, Mr. Goldberg was tight-lipped for fear of the producers.
"Lord knows they'll kill me," he said. "They'll probably put me on the island if I tell you."
Mr. Fahey, 56, was born in Olean Nov. 29, 1952, the sixth of 13 children. His film credits include "Silverado," "Lawnmower Man," and Clint Eastwood's "White Hunter, Black Heart." He's also appeared in a slew of independent films, working steadily since his breakthrough role in 1985's "Silverado." He also appeared in the short-lived television series "The Marshal."
When he was a boy, his family lived at 111 S. Second St. in Olean. His father, Frank, worked at Sy Steinhart's clothing store on North Union Street while his mother, Jane, cared for their growing family.
The Faheys moved to Buffalo in 1964. Retired Olean firefighter Ray Diffenderfer was Jeff Fahey's friend growing up. The Diffenderfers lived at 132 S. First St.
"He played on the South Olean Ponies with me," Mr. Diffenderfer said, remembering their time on the junior football team.
Mr. Diffenderfer has followed his friend's stage and acting career and has kept mementos of their youth. Among his prized possessions is a 1964 autograph book Mr. Fahey signed and a picture from the early 1960s of them showing off Christmas presents.
Mr. Diffenderfer said he has a hard time throwing anything away, but admits he thinks it's neat his childhood friend became an actor who has appeared on stage, screen and television.
"He was my best friend," Mr. Diffenderfer said. "I obviously liked the guy."
Mr. Diffenderfer tipped off the Times Herald that fan Web sites linked Mr. Fahey to "Lost."
Jorren (Chesner) Cornell of Olean baby-sat Mr. Fahey when he was an infant and toddler. She didn't know him well but has fond memories of the Fahey family.
"He was a baby and I was a teenager," she said. "They had 13 children and I watched up to number seven."
She said the Fahey's attended St. Mary of the Angels Church and all the children, including Jeff, went to St. Mary's School. Mrs. Fahey's mother, Peg Gallagher, lived with the family.
"Her mother was a waitress at the American Legion on East State Street for years and years," Mrs. Cornell said.
Mrs. Cornell said over the years she's stayed in touch with Mr. Fahey's oldest brother, Tom, who manages some of his brother's business interests in California.
Mrs. Cornell said the Faheys were a typical Olean family.
"They were a super nice family," she said. "They were just good people. I can't think of anything bad to say about them."
Of all the Faheys, she said Jeff's mother, Jane, had the biggest impact on her life. She stayed in contact with Mrs. Fahey after the family moved to Buffalo.
"She was always kind of a role model for me and a mentor," she said. "She was a super mother. I never knew how she did it with 13 children. Seven was enough."
Caring for children is a Fahey family trait. Jeff Fahey supports an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mr. Goldberg said Mr. Fahey travels to Afghanistan to work at the orphanage when he's not filming in America.
"He's spending a lot of time in Afghanistan and he's doing some really wonderful work there," he said.