The Godfather star James Caan, known for his roles in ‘Misery’ and ‘Brian’s Song’, has died at the age of 82!!
Sonny Corleone, who was played by James Caan in “The Godfather” and Paul Sheldon in “Misery,” died at 82.
The actor’s official Twitter account shared the news on Thursday, writing a statement that he died on Wednesday.
“The family appreciates the outflow of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to regard their privacy during this difficult time,” the tweet read.
Hollywood remembered the star warmly.
“Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend,” Al Pacino, who starred alongside Caan in The Godfather, said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe he’s not going to be here anymore because he was so alive. and courageous. A great actor, a great director, and my dear friend. I will miss him.”
Barbra Streisand, who worked with Caan in the film “Funny Lady,” tweeted that she was sorry to hear of his death, calling him “so gifted.”
Adam Sandler tweeted that he “loved Caan so much. I always wanted to be like him. So happy I met him. I never stopped laughing when I was around the man. His movies were the best.”
James Caan was perhaps best known as the hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film “The Godfather.” His role in the mob drama earned him nominations for the best supporting actor at this year’s Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
Early Life –
Caan was born in the Bronx to German-Jewish immigrants and has collected many accolades in his acting career, which has spanned nearly five decades.
One of his most memorable roles was as the hot-tempered Sonny Corleone, brother of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone, in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. In 1972, he was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor categories at the Oscars and Golden Globes of the same year.
He redid his role in “The Godfather: Part II” with a brief appearance at the film’s end. Caan previously worked with Coppola in 1969’s The Rain People.
Caan reunited with the cast at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Caan, a football player at Michigan State University and a joker on production sets, was a smiling, handsome performer with athletic agility and a muscular frame. He had a long career despite drug problems and minor run-ins with the law.
Rob Reiner, who directed Caan in Misery, tweeted Thursday that he was “so sorry to hear the news. I loved working with him. And the only Jew I knew could pull the ropes with the best of them.”
Caan seemed to have the energy of a coiled cobra, his signature physique barely containing the intensity that kept the audience in their seats.
This trait was more apparent than in the “Godfather” films, whereas Santino Caan always seemed on the verge of violence.
That energy almost caused Reiner to get in the way when he was about to tell Stephen King’s story about a successful writer held captive by a psychotic fan, played to Oscar-winning perfection by Kathy Bates.
Caan had a down-to-earth demeanor. In 2010, USA TODAY talked to the actor and his son Scott for “Mercy,” written by the younger Caan.
When James approached Caan, he immediately countered, “James is far too polite. Call me Jimmy. Son of a gun.”
Caan always displayed an enviable acting range throughout his career.
The combination of Caan’s football savvy and acting talent brought the tragic story of the Chicago Bears quarterback, who died at age 26 of aggressive testicular cancer. Piccolo was a close friend of NFL legend Gale Sayers, played by Billy Dee Williams.
Williams tweeted Thursday, “Teammates and friends to the end. RIP Jimmy,” with a broken heart emoji. Williams added a recent photo of the duo at the gym, with Caan sitting on Williams’ lap.
Scott Caan (right), writer/producer/star of “Mercy,” is playfully smacked by his father, actor James Caan, at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on May 3, 2010.
Lesser-known but acclaimed Caan vehicles include:
- “The Thief” (1981), playing the cracker in the final heist.
- “A Bridge Too Far” (1977), a war cinema was starring Sean Connery and Gene Hackman.
- “El Dorado” (1966), in which Caan dons western dudes and makes his best John Wayne impression.
Among the Caan children is actor Scott Caan, best known for playing Detective Danny Williams on the TV show “Hawaii Five-0” and his appearances in the movie “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels.