James Caan, actor in "The Godfather", dies at 82

His family confirmed that James Caan, an actor best known for his roles as "The Godfather" among many others, has passed away at the age of 82.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
07 July 2022 Thursday 12:29
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James Caan, actor in "The Godfather", dies at 82

His family confirmed that James Caan, an actor best known for his roles as "The Godfather" among many others, has passed away at the age of 82.

"It is with great sorrow that we inform you about the passing of Jimmy on July 6th," read a tweet from the actor's family. "The family is grateful for the overwhelming support and condolences. We ask that you respect their privacy at this time."

We are sorry to inform you that Jimmy passed away on July 6th. The family is grateful for the condolences and outpourings of love. Please continue to tweet.

Caan was born in Queens, New York in 1940. He worked in Hollywood for more than 60 years. After transferring from Michigan State University (now Hofstra University), he started booking guest roles for TV dramas such as "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour."

Caan, then 26, appeared alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in 1966's western "El Dorado." Caan's role in "El Dorado" launched his career and led to other projects, including "Brian's Song", a TV movie about a dying football player.

Caan finally got the role of his dreams: Sonny Corleone, in the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film, "The Godfather." He was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor.

Caan was a star in many films after the success of "The Godfather," including "The Gambler," Rollerball," and "Misery." In "The Godfather II," he reprised his role of Sonny in a flashback scene.

Caan claimed that he was depressed and a drug addict in the 1980s after the death of his sister to leukemia.

In a 2021 interview, he said that he had suffered a "bad bout with cocaine" for a while. "I lost my sister at the time. She was like, "I don't even know how to handle it when I lost my sister."

Caan gained a new audience when he appeared in "Elf," the 2003 Christmas movie. He played the role of Walter Hobbs, Buddy's biological father and must learn the true meanings of Christmas. Caan said that he initially refused Will Ferrell's request for the movie, but later changed his mind.

He was also praised for his portrayal as a casino boss on the TV series "Las Vegas."

Caan said that he fought to never be the same person and told CBS "Sunday Morning" that he did. "It's three months of pretending to be somebody else, and that's the fun part of acting, you know?"

He was not planning to slow down, and was determined to continue his work in Hollywood, which included hopefully playing a "real" character.

He said, "I cannot take it easy." I enjoy my job. Good people are what I enjoy working with. Because I meet new people and most importantly, good people, I find it more enjoyable to work. It's really good. There are always a few people you meet and they're all great -- I have lots of laughs and sometimes I get respect.

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