Oscar-nominated actor James Caan, who is best known for playing Sonny Corleone, the heir to the tragic and hot-tempered mobster, in The Godfatherdied Wednesday at the age of 82.
Godfather actor James Caan dies at 82
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Caan died Wednesday night in Los Angeles, his rep Arnold Robinson told the outlet, confirming a post on the actor’s Twitter account. Neither he nor the family has released the cause of death.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of Jimmy’s passing on the evening of July 6th,” Caan’s family said in a tweet posted to his account. The actor had a breakthrough television role in the 1970 American football drama Brian’s Songportraying dying grill star Brian Piccolo, a performance that won him an Emmy Award.
The famous actor played roles in Misery, Thief and roller ballreceived an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the eldest son of a mob family in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic The Godfather. In short, the highest-grossing film of all time, The Godfather won three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Marlon Brando.
James Caan was among three cast members nominated for Best Supporting Actor, along with Al Pacino and Robert Duvall. He reprized his role in a small cameo for The Godfather Part II. As THR shares, Caan almost couldn’t play the part that would become his signature role. Paramount originally cast him as younger brother Michael and Carmine Caridi as Sonny. But Coppola, who had directed Caan in rain people (1969), insisted that only he could do the character justice.
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