Who was James Caan?
- Caan came to prominence for playing his signature role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather
- He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
- Caan was born on March 26, 1940, in the Bronx, New York City
James Edmund Caan was an American actor who was nominated for several awards, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Oscar. In 1978, Caan was awarded a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.
At the age of 82, Caan died on July 6, 2022.
Also read: James Caan 'The Godfather' star dead at 82
After early roles in Howard Hawks's El Dorado (1966), Robert Altman's Countdown (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (1969), Caan 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.
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).
The actor 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 born on March 26, 1940, in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Sophie (née Falkenstein; 1915–2016) and Arthur Caan (1909–1986), Jewish immigrants from Germany.
His father was a meat dealer and butcher. One of three siblings, Caan grew up in Sunnyside, Queens. He was educated in New York City, and later attended Michigan State University.
He played football and was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity during his two years at Michigan State. He later transferred to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, but did not graduate. His classmates at Hofstra included Francis Ford Coppola and Lainie Kazan.