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James Caan, ‘The Godfather’, ‘Thief’, ‘Elf’ Actor Dies at 82

James Caan‘s family announced today that the actor passed away on July 6th at the age of 82 on Twitter. No cause of death was given, as the family asks fans to respect their privacy:

James Caan on Twitter: “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 / Twitter”

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

Caan was best known for his performances in Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather, as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, Karel Reisz‘s The Gambler as Axel Freed, Norman Jewison‘s Rollerball as Jonathan E, Michael Mann‘s Thief as Frank, Rob Reiner‘s Misery as Paul Sheldon, and in Jon Favreau‘s Elf as Walter Hobbs, father of Will Ferrell‘s Buddy the Elf. He was recently seen in Michael Lembeck‘s Queen Bees as Dan Simpson, which was his final film role.

Tributes poured all over social media, including Misery director Rob Reiner who recalled loving to work with him on the movie:

Rob Reiner on Twitter: “So sorry to hear the news. I loved working with him. And the only Jew I knew who could calf rope with the best of them. Love to the family. / Twitter”

So sorry to hear the news. I loved working with him. And the only Jew I knew who could calf rope with the best of them. Love to the family.

Jennifer Tilly, who worked with Caan in Alberto Sciamma‘s Jericho Mansions, told a funny story the actor shared with her:

Jennifer Tilly on Twitter: “James Caan always had the funniest stories. Once he told me Coppola had the habit of grabbing food off his plate & eating it, so one day he made a sandwich with very hot jalapeños between two pieces of buttered bread, & waited outside Coppola’s airstream… / Twitter”

James Caan always had the funniest stories. Once he told me Coppola had the habit of grabbing food off his plate & eating it, so one day he made a sandwich with very hot jalapeños between two pieces of buttered bread, & waited outside Coppola’s airstream…

Adam Sandler, who worked with James in Ernest R. Dickerson‘s Bulletproof, said that he “always wanted to be like him” and thought that his movies “were the best”:

Adam Sandler on Twitter: “James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love. pic.twitter.com/a0q8rCP1Yl / Twitter”

James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love.

Thief director Michael Mann recalled working with James on the film, saying that “I loved him and I loved working with him. He reached into the core of his being during difficult personal times to be the rebellious, half-wild child, institutionalized outsider Frank, in my first film, Thief. Frank is half Frank, half Jimmy.”

Michael Mann on Twitter: “What a terrible and tragic loss. Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times. pic.twitter.com/72b06VJGIi / Twitter”

What a terrible and tragic loss. Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times. pic.twitter.com/72b06VJGIi

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs co-director Christopher Miller also talked about his experience working with James, stating that “he brought a pathos and authenticity to the role of Tim Lockwood that held the film together.”

Christopher Miller on Twitter: “We were lucky enough to work with James Caan on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. He brought a pathos and authenticity to the role of Tim Lockwood that held the film together. RIP to a legend pic.twitter.com/tmk3JdOgE3 / Twitter”

We were lucky enough to work with James Caan on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. He brought a pathos and authenticity to the role of Tim Lockwood that held the film together. RIP to a legend pic.twitter.com/tmk3JdOgE3

Kathy Bates, who co-starred with Caan in Misery, thanked him via a Tweet:

Kathy Bates on Twitter: “I’m heartbroken to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Shocked. No words. Thank you, Jimmy. Love you, your ‘Kat’ @James_Caan / Twitter”

I’m heartbroken to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Shocked. No words. Thank you, Jimmy. Love you, your ‘Kat’ @James_Caan

Source: James Caan

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Written by Maxance Vincent

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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