The entertainment industry in Hollywood and around the world are mourning and remembering the late James Caan, who died on Wednesday July 6, 2022. His death was announced Thursday morning by his family. Caan was 82.
Caan’s passing was also announced on his official Twitter page on Thursday, where he had in recent years developed a presence as a charming elder statesman who would post remembrances of his greatest films and former costars. His tweets were recognizable for ending with the same phrase every time: “End of Tweet.” Now, the page has posted that phrase for the last time.
Across his lengthy career, Caan played many memorable roles, including Sonny Corleone in “the Godfather” on the big screen and Brian Piccolo in “Brian’s Song” on the small screen.
Born March 26, 1940 in the Bronx, James Edmund Caan was raised in Sunnyside, Queens by Jewish immigrant parents. Caan is perhaps most famous for his performance as the curly-headed gangster Sonny Corleone in the 1972 film, ‘The Godfather.’ where he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Marlon Brando’s iconic line as DonCorleone, “Look how they massacred my boy” is in reference to Sonny after he got ambushed and riddled with bullets by rival gangsters, one of the most famous death scenes in all of Hollywood.
Among Caan’s many memorable roles was Thief, the 1980 film that was Michael Mann’s debut as a director. Caan played a master safecracker where Mann, who famously values authenticity and realism in his work, made Caan break into a real safe for the role. Caan called it “one of my proudest moments,” and even called his mother to tell her.
James Caan is known to have at least 154 credits. Here are some highlights of his movie career:
After early roles in Howard Hawks’s El Dorado (1966), Robert Altman’s Countdown (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rain People (1969), he came to prominence for playing his signature role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised the role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974) with a cameo appearance at the end.
Caan had significant roles in films such as Brian’s Song (1971), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler (1974), Rollerball (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), and Alan J. Pakula’s Comes a Horseman (1978). He had sporadically worked in film since the 1980s, with his notable performances including roles in Thief (1981), Gardens of Stone (1987), Misery (1990), Dick Tracy (1990), Bottle Rocket (1996), The Yards (2000), Dogville (2003), and Elf (2003).
Caan was also in the Iconic Christmas movie “Elf” as well as the trendsetting football movie “The Program.”
Caan was nominated for several awards during his career, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Oscar. He also was awarded a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.
We want to recognize and respect James Edmund Caan (March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022) as a great actor that will be missed by all with the following:
The tweet reads, “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.”