James Caan, the American actor known for tough-guy roles such as Sonny Corleone, has passed away
US actor James Caan, who starred in films like ‘The Godfather’, ‘Thief’, ‘Misery’, and ‘Dogville’ has died at 82.
The actor’s death was announced on Thursday on his Twitter account: “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.”
No cause of death was disclosed. Caan’s Hollywood career peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s, but he remained active with dozens of roles over the past decade, including a movie scheduled for release in 2023 and at least two new projects in the works.
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.
End of tweet
— James Caan (@James_Caan) July 7, 2022
“So sorry to hear the news,” said Rob Reiner, the director of ‘Misery’, which was released in 1990. “I loved working within him – and the only Jew I knew who could calf-rope with the best of them. Love to the family.”
Caan’s biggest breakthrough role was as Sonny Corleone in the 1972 blockbuster ‘The Godfather’.
Caan was known for several other hits throughout the 1970s, including ‘Rollerball’ and ‘Brian’s Song’. His only Oscar nomination was for best supporting actor in ‘The Godfather’. His career was reportedly derailed by drug abuse and depression, which sidelined him for about five years in the mid-1980s.
“No matter what heights you achieve, even if you’re Brad Pitt, the slide is coming, sure as death and taxes,” Caan was quoted as saying. “So if you put everything into that one basket, acting, you’ll wind up hurting yourself, either with drugs or any other self-destructive thing you can think of.”
Caan came back to land many memorable roles, including parts in such movies as ‘Elf’, ‘For the Boys’, and ‘Dick Tracy’. He was also known for turning down roles that might have made him a bigger star, such as parts in ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.
Caan was born in New York City’s Bronx borough, the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany. He was married four times and had five children, including actor Scott Caan.