‘Godfather’ Actor James Caan Dies at 82

American actor James Caan, known best for his role as the hot-headed Sonny Corleone in the classic 1972 film, “The Godfather,” has died at the age of 82.

A message posted to the actor’s Twitter account on Thursday 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. End of tweet.”

“End of tweet” became a signature phrase for the actor as he became more active on the social media platform in recent years.  

The Associated Press reports Caan’s manager, Matt DelPiano, confirmed that Caan died at his home in Los Angeles late Wednesday. No cause was given.

Caan was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “The Godfather,” playing the oldest sibling in the Corleone crime family.

He told an interviewer earlier this year — the 50th anniversary of the film’s release — that he knew the film would be something special when he made it, largely because of the rapport he had with fellow cast members.

Caan was born in the New York City borough of the Bronx in 1940 and was raised in the New York City area.  

 

According to his biography on the IMDB website, Caan studied economics and played football at Michigan State University. That experience would serve him well in one of his first big roles, the 1971 television movie “Brian’s Song,” a drama about professional football player Brian Piccolo who had died of cancer the year before at age 26.

After “Brian’s Song” and “The Godfather,” Caan became one Hollywood’s busiest actors, appearing in “Hide in Plain Sight” (which he also directed), “Funny Lady” (opposite Barbra Streisand), “The Killer Elite” and Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two,” among others. He also made a brief appearance in a flashback sequence in “The Godfather, Part II.”

In later years, he starred in the Stephen King thriller “Misery” and the Christmas holiday comedy “Elf.”

Caan was married and divorced four times and has a daughter, Tara, and sons Scott, Alexander, James and Jacob.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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