Tragic news to report as legendary tough-guy actor James Caan has died at the age of 82. The news of Caan’s passing was announced by his family over social media.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.
The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.
End of tweet
— James Caan (@James_Caan) July 7, 2022
I say “tough-guy” because Caan’s most memorable role will forever be that of eldest brother Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Caan would earn an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for the performance, which culminated in Sonny’s unforgettable death scene.
Caan’s resume was considerable over his decades-long career, which began in the ’60s with roles in Howard Hawks’ Red Line 7000 and El Dorado. It was in the 1971 TV film Brian’s Song, in which he played terminally ill Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo, that Caan would earn an Emmy nomination for yet another iconic performance that has stood the test of time.
Caan seemed to keep finding his way into films that hold a special place to millions of fans. He would star in Michael Mann’s big feature debut, 1981’s neo-noir thriller Thief. Caan basically retired from acting for a few years in the ’80s, but re-emerged and featured in a string of movies with cult followers, such as 1988’s Alien Nation, Wes Anderson’s directorial debut Bottle Rocket, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last original action hit Eraser, the classic Will Ferrell Christmas comedy Elf, and who can forget Caan’s treatment at the hands of Kathy Bates in Misery? His final feature film role would be in the 2021 comedy Queen Bees alongside others of his generation.
We here at Punch Drunk Critics send our condolences to Caan’s friends and family.