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Actor James Caan, known for his films “The Godfather”, “Elf”, dies at age 82


The family of actor James Caan announced Thursday on social media that the actor died Wednesday night. Caan was 82.

The family tweeted on Caan’s official Twitter account“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.”  A cause of death was not revealed.

Caan’s rise to fame began in 1969 when he appeared in Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Rain People. The following year, he starred alongside Billy Dee Williams in the TV adaptation of Brian’s Song, which garnered him his first Emmy nomination.

Caan was perhaps best known for his portrayal of Santino “Sonny” Corleone in the 1972 classic film The Godfather, which earned him a best supporting actor nomination at the Academy Awards as well as the Golden Globes. He reprised the role in 1974’s The Godfather Part II, making a cameo at end of the film.

Caan appeared in an impressive number of films including Dick TracyThe YardsMisery, The Outsider and Honeymoon in Vegas.  He gained a new generation fans with his appearance in the 2003 holiday comedy Elf, in which he played the biological father of Will Ferrell‘s character, Buddy the Elf.  Also in 2003, Caan joined the TV series Las Vegas, staying for four of the show’s five seasons.

Before his passing, Caan was set to star in Megalopolis, which would have been his fifth collaboration with director Francis Ford Coppola. Filming was scheduled for Fall 2022.

Caan was married four times; and is survived by daughter Tara, 57, and sons Scott, 45, Alexander, 31, James, 26, and Jacob, 23.

Editorial credit: Ga Fullner /

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