James Caan 'The Godfather' star dead at 82
James Caan died at 82
The Bronx based actor played Sonny Corleone in 'The Godfather'
No official cause of death was announced
James Caan, the Bronx-based actor, who became memorable for playing Sonny Corleone in 'The Godfather' died on Wednesday at 82.
The family announced it on Thursday with the actor's official Twitter page saying, "The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time".
Caan started off in off-Broadway plays but made a name with early roles in films by notable directors like Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola - who had yet to make his name. Before 'The Godfather' arrived in 1972 and changed the history of how mob films are viewed, Caan was also part of Coppola's 1969 movie 'The Rain People'.
The actor had a reputation for a partying lifestyle and spent most of the 1970s and early 80s basking in Hollywood glory before taking a break. He described it as a scary period in his life, but Caan made a comeback in the late 1980s with movies like 'Misery', 'The Yards', and 'Elf'.
He was born to a kosher butcher but was eager not to follow in his father's footsteps. Caan initially leaned toward a career as a football player but then developed an interest in acting, while learning at Hofstra University in New York. This is also where he met future collaborator and Palme d'Or winner, Coppola.
Caan's diverse acting chops landed him roles, from Lars von Trier's 'Dogville' to the animated film 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'.
He was married four times, to Dee Jay Mathis between 1961 and 1966, Sheila Marie Ryan from 1975-76, Ingrid Hajek from 1990-94, and Linda Stokes from 1995 to 2017. He's survived by five children, and among them, Scott has followed in Caan's steps, appearing in films such as 'Ocean's Eleven' and 'Gone in 60 Seconds'.