The Godfather star James Caan dies aged 82

James Caan, the American actor renowned for his role as Sonny Corleone in the mafia epic The Godfather, as well as a string of key films in the 1970s, has died aged 82.

The news was released by his Twitter account on Thursday.


A statement read:

“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 was nominated for several awards, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Oscar. Caan was awarded a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.

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).

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 married four times: between 1961 and 1966 to Dee Jay Mathis, to Sheila Marie Ryan from 1975-76, to Ingrid Hajek from 1990-94, and to Linda Stokes from 1995 to 2017. He had five children, one of whom, Scott, followed him into acting, appearing in Gone in 60 Seconds, Ocean’s Eleven and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot.

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