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Actor James Caan of 'The Godfather' Dies at 82

Caan was well-known for his portrayal of the hot-headed "Sonny" in The Godfather.
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James Caan Sonny The Godfather

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Legendary actor James Caan passed away on Wednesday, July 6 at the age of 82, his family announced. Caan was one of Hollywood’s most versatile performers for the better part of seven decades. He’s most well-known for his role as “Sonny,” the hot-headed son of Vito Corleone in The Godfather trilogy. Younger fans came to know him in recent years for his role in the hit Holiday comedy, “Elf,” alongside Will Ferrell.

Caan received an Academy Award nomination for his part in The Godfather and critical acclaim for his role as author Paul Sheldon in the 1990 thriller, “Misery,” directed by Rob Reiner and based on the 1987 Stephen King novel of the same name.

In 1971, Caan teamed up with Billy D. Williams in the made-for-TV drama, “Brian’s Song” about the relationship between Chicago Bear teammates Brian Piccalo (Caan) and Gale Sayers (Williams). Caan received an Emmy nomination while the film took home four awards including “Best Single Program.”

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James Caan was a native of Bronx, NY, and attended Michigan St. University, where he played football, and Hofstra U.

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