James Caan, known for his roles in “The Godfather” and “Elf,” has died.
He was 82.
Caan’s family made the announcement on Twitter, saying that he died on Wednesday evening.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.— James Caan (@James_Caan) July 7, 2022
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
Caan was best known for his role as Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather” and “The Godfather II,” but before the iconic film series about the mafia came out, Caan portrayed Brian Piccolo in “Brian’s Song,” TMZ reported.
Caan also was author Paul Sheldon in the film version of the Stephen King novel “Misery.”
Caan was introduced to new generations in the role of Walter, the father to Buddy Elf in the film “Elf.”
Before breaking into acting, Caan was born in the Bronx, the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany. He played football at Michigan State University, TMZ reported.
He leaves behind five children, including actor Scott Caan.
Caan spoke to The New York Times in 1991 about his personal battles with depression and cocaine.
The depression came after his sister, Barbara, died at the age of 38 following a long fight with leukemia.
The cocaine abuse came from Hollywood.
“First you have peer pressure,” Caan told the Times. “You have parties. I was single. There were girls. That was the way to get girls.
“I went through it, but not to the degree you’ve heard about. I wish I had done half the things people said I did.”
In the article, the Times said he had “virtually disappeared from the screen” after the 1980′s but his career had a resurgence, thanks to “Misery” putting him on the same level as Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall.
While he wasn’t making movies for nearly a decade, Caan told the Times that he coached his son’s soccer and basketball teams during the day and dated Playboy bunnies at night. He became reclusive until friends Francis Ford Coppola, Rob Reiner and Mark Rydell saved him and his career.
“My real friends never quit on me,” Caan told the Times more than two decades ago.
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