By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Movie Author
James Caan, the curly-haired challenging man recognised to motion picture enthusiasts as the hotheaded Sonny Corleone of “The Godfather” and to tv audiences as each the dying football player in the traditional weeper “Brian’s Song” and the casino boss in “Las Vegas,” has died. He was 82.
His supervisor Matt DelPiano stated he died on Wednesday. No result in was offered and Caan’s loved ones, who requests privateness, said that no even more aspects would be launched at this time.
Lots of of his collaborators wrote condolences on Twitter Thursday.
Adam Sandler, who acted with him in “Bulletproof” and “That’s My Boy” wrote that he, “Loved him very much. Constantly wanted to be like him. So content I got to know him. Never ever at any time stopped laughing when I was all around that gentleman. His motion pictures ended up most effective of the best.”
A soccer player at Michigan Point out College and a simple joker on manufacturing sets, Caan was a grinning, handsome performer with an athlete’s swagger and muscular construct. He managed a long vocation despite drug difficulties, outbursts of temper and insignificant brushes with the law.
Caan experienced been a favorite of Francis Ford Coppola since the 1960s, when Coppola cast him for the lead in “Rain Folks.” He was primed for a featured function in “The Godfather” as Sonny, the No. 1 enforcer and eldest son of Mafia boss Vito Corleone.
Sonny Corleone, a violent and reckless gentleman who carried out a lot of killings, achieved his very own stop in one particular of the most jarring motion picture scenes in history. Racing to uncover his sister’s husband, Corleone stops at a toll booth that he discovers is unnervingly vacant of consumers. Just before he can escape he is reduce down by a seemingly infinite fusillade of device-gun hearth. For many years just after, he when said, strangers would technique him on the road and jokingly warn him to continue to be clear of toll roads.
Caan bonded with Brando, Robert Duvall and other cast members and produced it a issue to get anyone laughing all through an usually tense production, occasionally dropping his trousers and “mooning” a fellow actor or crew member. Despite Coppola’s fears he had created a flop, the 1972 launch was an massive significant and professional success and brought supporting actor Oscar nominations for Caan, Duvall and Al Pacino.
Caan was currently a star on television, breaking by means of in the 1971 Tv movie “Brian’s Tune,” an emotional drama about Chicago Bears operating back Brian Piccolo, who experienced died of cancer the calendar year just before at age 26. It was amongst the most well-liked and wrenching Television set movies in history and Caan and co-star Billy Dee Williams, who performed Piccolo’s teammate and ideal close friend Gale Sayers, have been nominated for most effective actor Emmys.
Right after “Brian’s Song” and “The Godfather,” he was one of Hollywood’s busiest actors, appearing in “Hide in Basic Sight” (which he also directed), “Funny Lady” (opposite Barbra Streisand), “The Killer Elite” and Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two,” amid many others. He also created a quick visual appearance in a flashback sequence in “The Godfather, Portion II.”
But by the early 1980s he began to bitter on movies, while Michael Mann’s 1981 neo-noir heist movie “Thief,” in which he performed a experienced safecracker hunting for a way out, is between his most admired movies.
“The enjoyment of it was taken away,” he told an interviewer in 1981. “I’ve finished shots exactly where I’d alternatively do time. I just walked out of a photo at Paramount. I reported you haven’t got adequate dollars to make me go to do the job every day with a director I never like.”
He experienced begun to battle with drug use and was devastated by the 1981 leukemia loss of life of his sister, Barbara, who until finally then had been a guiding force in his profession. For much of the 1980s he designed no films, telling individuals he chosen to mentor his son Scott’s Small League online games.
Small on dollars, Caan was hired by Coppola for the top position in the 1987 film “Gardens of Stone.” The movie, about daily life at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery, proved way too grim for most audiences, but it renewed Caan’s performing occupation.
He returned to comprehensive-fledged stardom opposite Kathy Bates in “Misery” in 1990. In the film, based mostly on Stephen King’s novel, Caan is an creator taken captive by an obsessed enthusiast who breaks his ankles to maintain him from leaving. Bates received an Oscar for the function.
At the time once again in desire, Caan starred in “For the Boys” with Bette Midler in 1991 as element of a tune-and-dance group entertaining U.S. troopers all through World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. The pursuing year he performed a tongue-in-cheek version of Sonny Corleone in the comedy “Honeymoon in Vegas,” tricking Nicolas Cage into betting his girlfriend, Sarah Jessica Parker, in a higher-stakes poker match so he can spirit her away and try to persuade her to marry him.
Other later on movies integrated “Flesh and Bone,” “Bottle Rocket” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.” He introduced himself to a new generation enjoying Walter, the workaholic, stone-faced father of Buddy’s Will Ferrell in “Elf.”
Caan did not just take a starring function in a Tv set series right up until 2003 but his to start with work, “Las Vegas,” was an rapid hit. When the collection debuted, he was a casino surveillance chief dealing with cheaters and competitors of the fictional Montecito Vacation resort and Casino.
His character rose to develop into manager of the Montecito but remained the hard man who experienced realized judo in an undercover division of the U.S. govt. Caan remaining the exhibit throughout the fourth season and it was afterwards canceled.
Born March 26, 1939, in New York Town, Caan was the son of a kosher meat wholesaler. He was a star athlete and course president at Rhodes Substantial Faculty and, right after attending Michigan Point out and Hofstra University, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse Faculty of the Theater beneath Sanford Meisner.
Next a quick phase career, he moved to Hollywood. He made his film debut in a temporary uncredited purpose in 1963 in Billy Wilder’s “Irma La Douce,” then landed a job as young thug who terrorizes Olivia de Havilland in “Lady in a Cage.” He also appeared opposite John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in the 1966 Western “El Dorado” and Harrison Ford in the 1968 Western “Journey to Shiloh.”
Married and divorced four occasions, Caan had a daughter, Tara, and sons Scott, Alexander, James and Jacob.
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