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James Caan, The Godfather Actor Passes Away at the Age of 82

James Caan, who played ‘Sonny’ Corleone in The Godfather passed away at the age of 82. Here’s what you need to know more about the legend.

James Caan, The Godfather Actor Passes Away at the Age of 82
Image Credits: Priyanshi Goyal

James Caan who played the on-screen tough guy passed away at the age of 82. He was also known to fans as the iconic ‘Sonny’ Corleone. Recognized as the hotheaded one from The Godfather, he was one of the finest actors the generation has ever seen. He was known as the dying football player from the classic weeper Brian’s Song and as the casino boss in Las Vegas. No cause for death has been given as of now. His manager Matt Delpiano said that the actor died on Wednesday. His family requested privacy and no further details were being shared.

His Bulletproof and That’s My Boy Co-Star Adam Sandler wrote that he loved him very much. He always wanted to be like James Caan. He has been very happy that he got to know him. He never had a chance to stop laughing whenever he was around James. He also wrote that James’ movies were the best of the best.

The American actor lived a hell of a party lifestyle and made a huge mark in the hearts of audiences in Hollywood during the 1970s and early 80s. He had decided to quit his acting career during that era because he described it as a ‘pretty scared period’ and disappearing from the eye of the public. He made a comeback in the 1980s with a bang through films like Misery, The Yards, and Elf.

Born in 1940 in the Bronx, New York City, and the son of a kosher butcher. He had decided not to follow his father in the meat trade, Caan aimed to be a football player and carry it forward as his career. However, destiny had something big planned for his way that he got interested in acting after his study at Hofstra University in New York state and met his future collaborator Francis Ford Coppola. He later joined the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater.

His first acting gig was a small role in the 1961 Broadway production of Blood, Sweat, and Stanely Poole, which was a second world war play by William Goldman and his brother James.

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After a link from minor roles in film and Tv, Caan got his lead in 1965 in Howard Hawk’s stock car racing drama Red Line 7000 and followed by a role alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in Hawk’s 1966 western El Dorado.

James Caan, The Godfather Actor Passes Away at the Age of 82
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Caan received his only Oscar nomination for the best supporting actor for Coppola’s The Godfather. The film gave him a huge appreciation as ‘Sonny’ Corleone and is still regarded as one of the masterpieces. His work as Sonny Corleone’s death sequence is one of the most iconic scenes and for which he was fitted with 140 squibs or explosive blood pallets for the gunshot sequences.

However, it came to the notice later that Caan had first auditioned for the role of Michael Corleone and that went to Al Pacino the studio favored the same but Coppola insisted on Pacino, and Caan was given the supporting role.

Tributes have already begun from celebrities and directors James has worked with including the director of Misery Rob Reiner who showed condolences to his family members and said that he loved working with him.

May the Legend Rest in Peace.


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Written By

Manali Shinde is a News analyst and entertainment content writer at Empire Weekly. She is born and brought up in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree of Arts in Multimedia and Mass Communication.

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