James Bond star Pierce Brosnan has described James Caan as an “inspiration” after seeing him perform in the upcoming film Fast Charlie despite “great physical pain and discomfort”.
Oscar-nominated actor Caan, known for his roles in The Godfather, Thief and Misery, died on Wednesday at the age of 82.
Brosnan, 69, shared a photo of “great man himself” Caan sitting in a wheelchair on the set of the thriller Fast Charlie, which is set for release in March 2023.
He captioned it: “We laughed a lot together during those five days in New Orleans… you were an inspiration to me as a young actor just starting out, and an even greater inspiration to me as a man who watches you work every day against great physical pain and discomfort.
“You gave yourself to the art of acting and interpretation until the end. My heart has a deep sorrow this day for your departure. I will always treasure your memory.”
Caan played Sonny Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 gangster epic alongside acting royalty Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton.
Coppola said in a statement provided to the PA news agency that “his movies and the great roles he played will never be forgotten.”
Meanwhile, Pacino, who played Michael Corleone in the classic films, called Caan his “fictional brother and lifelong friend” and De Niro added that he was “very, very saddened by Jimmy’s death.”
Talia Shire, who played Connie Corleone in the crime saga films, described Caan, in a statement given to PA, as “a good man, a kind man, a family man and a tremendously talented man.”
Similarly, Godfather III star Joe Mantegna said that becoming friends with Caan was “one of the great gifts of being part of the Godfather family.”
Top filmmakers, including Michael Mann and Rob Reiner, also paid tribute to Caan.
Mann, who directed the 1981 neo-noir thriller Thief, said that Caan “was not only a great actor with an adventurous spirit, but he had a vitality at the core of his being” that produced many “outrageous and hilarious anecdotes”.
Reiner, who directed the 1990 psychological thriller Misery, said he “loved” working with Caan.
The veteran actor’s other notable credits include starring in the 2003 family comedy Elf, playing Will Ferrell’s on-screen biological father, Walter Hobbs, as well as playing cancer-stricken Chicago Bears footballer Brian Piccolo in Brian’s Song. , which saw him earn an Emmy nomination.
Caan’s Brian’s Song co-star and Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams shared a photo on Twitter of Caan smiling while sitting on his lap, writing, “Teammates and friends all the way,” with a broken heart emoji.
Sharon Stone, who starred alongside Caan in the 1981 historical drama Les Uns Et Les Autres, said the actor “always” had her back.
Comedian and actor Adam Sandler, who starred with him in Bulletproof and That’s My Boy, said he “always wanted to be like him” and “never stopped laughing” around him, adding that he will “miss him terribly.”
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.
The actor was married four times and is survived by his five children: Tara, Scott, Alexander James, James Arthur and Jacob Nicholas Caan.