James Caan Remembered By Hollywood Stars Following Legendary Actor’s Death

James Caan Remembered By Hollywood Stars Following Legendary Actor’s Death
James Caan Remembered By Hollywood Stars Following Legendary Actor’s Death

Hollywood has been paying tribute to James Caan following his death at the age of 82.

The Oscar-nominated actor, best known for his roles in The Godfather, Misery and Elf died on Wednesday.

A statement on Twitter said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Caan played Sonny Corleone in director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 gangster epic The Godfather alongside acting royalty Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton.

Coppola led the tributes in a statement provided to the PA news agency.

“Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known,” he said.

“From those earlier times working together on The Rain People and throughout all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten.

“He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”

James Caan
James Caan

Vittorio Zunino Celotto via Getty Images

Al Pacino, who starred as Michael Corleone in the classic gangster films, said that Caan was his “fictional brother and lifelong friend.”

He said: “It’s hard to believe that he won’t be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I’m gonna miss him.”

Meanwhile, Robert De Niro added he was “very very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing”.

Joe Mantegna tweeted: “One of the great gifts in being part of The Godfather family was becoming friends with James Caan. Rest In Peace Jimmy.”

Michael Mann, who directed 1981 neo-noir heist thriller Thief, described Caan’s death as a “terrible and tragic loss”.

“Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times,” he said in a statement.

“There was a core of values within him about how people should be, more or less. It might be variable, the corners could be rounded with urban irony, but there was a line and it was non-fungible.

“And it produced many outrageous and hilarious anecdotes.”

Rob Reiner, who directed 1990 psychological thriller Misery, said he was “so sorry” to hear the news.

“I loved working with (Caan),” he wrote. “And the only Jew I knew who could calf rope with the best of them. Love to the family.”

Other stars from stage and screen also paid tribute…

The veteran actor’s other notable credits include playing terminal cancer-stricken Chicago Bears footballer Brian Piccolo in sporting drama Brian’s Song, which saw him earn an Emmy nomination for outstanding single performance by an actor in a leading role in 1972.

Caan also starred in 2003 family comedy Elf, playing Will Ferrell’s on-screen biological father Walter Hobbs. Other appearances include Honeymoon In Vegas, Bulletproof and Mickey Blue Eyes.

Caan was born in March 1940 in the Bronx in New York and initially fancied a career in American football before becoming interested in acting during his time at university.

His break-out role came in The Godfather, which also saw him nominated for best supporting actor at the Golden Globes.

The actor was married four times – to Dee Jay Mattis, Sheila Ryan, Ingrid Hajek and most recently Linda Stokes.

He is survived by his five children – Tara, Scott, Alexander James, James Arthur and Jacob Nicholas Caan.

Scott followed in his father’s footsteps, appearing in Ocean’s Eleven, Gone In 60 Seconds and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot.


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