Hollywood pays tribute to James Caan’s ‘adventurous spirit’ after his death

Major filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Mann and Rob Reiner have paid tribute to the “wildly gifted” James Caan and his “adventurous spirit”.

The Oscar-nominated actor, known for his roles in The Godfather, Thief and Misery, died on Wednesday at the age of 82.

A statement on Twitter read: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of Jimmy’s passing on the night of July 6th.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of love and deepest condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Caan played Sonny Corleone in Coppola’s 1972 gangster epic alongside acting royalty Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton.

Coppola, who had worked with Caan on The Rain People before The Godfather, said in a statement provided to the Pennsylvania News Agency: “Jimmy was someone who lingered through my life longer and closer than any figure. movie you have ever seen.

“From those earlier times working together on The Rain People and through all the milestones of my life, his movies and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten.

“He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I have ever met.”

The Oscar-nominated actor, known for his roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery and many others, died on Wednesday (PA)

Pacino, who played Michael Corleone in the classic films, called Caan his “fictional brother and lifelong friend.”

He said: “It is hard to believe that he will no longer be in the world because he was so alive and bold. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I’ll miss him”.

Meanwhile, De Niro added that he was “very, very saddened by the news of Jimmy’s passing.”

Shire, who played Connie Corleone in the crime saga films, said in a statement given to the PA news agency: “James was a good man, a kind man, a family man and a tremendously gifted man, whose great talent will always be loved and remembered.

“My prayers go out to his family that he treasured so much.”

Similarly, Godfather III star Joe Mantegna tweeted: “One of the great gifts of being part of the Godfather family was becoming friends with James Caan. Rest in peace Jimmy.”

Mann, who directed the 1981 neo-noir thriller Thief, described Caan’s death as a “terrible and tragic loss”.

“Jimmy was not only a great actor with total commitment and an entrepreneurial spirit, but he had a vibrancy at the core of his being that fueled everything from his art and friendship to athletics and good times,” he said in a statement. .

“There was a core of values ​​within him about how people should be, more or less.

“It could be variable, the corners could be rounded with urban irony, but there was a line and it was not expendable.

“And it produced a lot of outrageous and hilarious anecdotes.”

Reiner, who directed the 1990 psychological thriller Misery, said he was “very sorry” to hear the news.

“I loved working with (Caan),” he wrote.

And the only Jew I knew who could give birth to the rope with the best. Love to family.”

Caan Wahlberg The Patios 1

The actor’s death was greeted with great pain by the entertainment industry (Toby Melville/PA)

The veteran actor’s other notable credits include playing terminally ill Chicago Bears footballer Brian Piccolo in the sports drama Brian’s Song, which saw him earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Role. main in 1972.

Caan also starred in the 2003 family comedy Elf, playing Will Ferrell’s on-screen biological father Walter Hobbs, as well as the psychological thriller Misery, the action film Thief and the crime hit The Gambler.

Other appearances include Honeymoon In Vegas, Bulletproof, and Mickey Blue Eyes.

British filmmaker Edgar Wright tweeted: “RIP a true megawatt movie star, Mr. Jimmy Caan, star of not only The Godfather, but also Thief, Misery, Freebie And The Bean, Slither, Rollerball, Bottle Rocket, Gardens Of Stone, The Way. Of The Gun, Honeymoon In Vegas, Elf and many more”.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn said: “There are so many of his movies that I love, the Godfather movies of course are at the top, but here are a few more that I adore (Thief in particular was a classic of the Gunn family, I had the poster on my wall in high school).”

Caan’s Brian’s Song co-star and Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams paid tribute to the actor on Thursday, sharing a photo on Twitter of Caan smiling while sitting on his lap.

He wrote: “Teammates and friends all the way. RIP Jimmy,” with a broken heart emoji.

Actor Gary Sinise, who played Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, tweeted: “Very sad to hear the news that James Caan has died. With a broken heart for his family and his friends.

“Wonderful to meet him and call him a friend. Jimmy was very supportive of the Gary Sinise Foundation and my work with our veterans. He will be missed. Thank you my friend. Rest in peace. God bless you.”

Singer Barbra Streisand tweeted that Caan was “so talented,” while Grosse Pointe Blank star John Cusack simply wrote “wonderful actor” and Antonio Banderas said, “A great actor has left us.”

Comedian and actor Adam Sandler, who starred with him in Bulletproof and That’s My Boy, said he “always wanted to be him.”

He wrote: “So happy to have met him. I never stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were the best of the best. We will all miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, best known for his role in the action movie The Terminator, called Caan an “icon” and a “legend.”

He tweeted: “He inspired everyone who has ever been in front of a camera. I was lucky enough to work with him and see firsthand his talent and his fantastic sense of humor.

“He was a great training partner in the gym and a true friend, and he will be missed.”

Caan was born in March 1940 in the Bronx in New York and initially liked a career in American football before becoming interested in acting during his time in college.

His breakout role came in The Godfather, which also saw him nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes.

The actor has been married four times: to Dee Jay Mattis, Sheila Ryan, Ingrid Hajek, and most recently to Linda Stokes.

He is survived by his five children: Tara, Scott, Alexander James, James Arthur, and Jacob Nicholas Caan.

Scott followed in his father’s footsteps, appearing on Ocean’s Eleven, Gone In 60 Seconds, and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot.

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