The actor’s official Twitter account shared the news on Thursday, writing in a statement he died Wednesday.
“The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time,” the tweet read.
Among those paying tribute on social media were Maria Shriver, who tweeted “So sad about Jimmy Caan. He was a legend. He was always kind to me. Sending his family my love.”
Actor Cary Elwes tweeted “Legend… Rest in Power, Jimmy. Our condolences to Scotty and his family.”
Andy Richter wrote on Twitter: “RIP James Caan. Shocked. Was lucky enough, after a lifetime of loving his work, to get to work with him and I loved him as a person even more. Funny, warm, self-deprecating, and effortlessly talented. They say never meet your heroes, but he proved that to be very very wrong.”
One of his most memorable roles was as the short-tempered Sonny Corleone, brother of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone, in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” He was nominated in best supporting actor categories at the 1972 Academy Awards and the Golden Globes that same year.
He reprised his role in “The Godfather: Part II” with a brief appearance at the end of the film. Caan previously worked with Coppola in 1969’s “The Rain People.”
Rob Reiner, who directed Caan in “Misery,” wrote in a tweet Thursday that he was “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.”
Among Caan’s children is actor Scott Caan, best known for playing Detective Danny Williams on the TV show “Hawaii Five-0” and his appearances in the film “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels.
James Edmund Caan (/kɑːn/ KAHN; March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022) was an American actor who was nominated for several awards, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Oscar. Caan was awarded a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.
After early roles in Howard Hawks‘s El Dorado (1966), Robert Altman‘s Countdown (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Rain People (1969), he came to prominence for playing his signature role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised the role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974) with a cameo appearance at the end.
Caan had significant roles in films such as Brian’s Song (1971), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler (1974), Rollerball (1975) A Bridge Too Far (1977), and Alan J. Pakula‘s Comes a Horseman (1978). He had sporadically worked in film since the 1980s, with his notable performances including roles in Thief (1981), Gardens of Stone (1987), Misery (1990), Dick Tracy (1990), Bottle Rocket (1996), The Yards (2000), Dogville (2003), and Elf (2003). [Wikipedia]