James Caan
Caan in 1976
James Edmund Caan

(1940-03-26)March 26, 1940
DiedJuly 6, 2022(2022-07-06) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place
Alma materMichigan State University
Years active1961–2022
  • Dee Jay Mathis
    (m. 1960; div. 1966)
  • Sheila Marie Ryan
    (m. 1976; div. 1977)
  • Ingrid Hajek
    (m. 1990; div. 1995)
  • Linda Stokes
    (m. 1995; div. 2017)
Children5, including Scott Caan

James Edmund Caan (/kɑːn/ KAHN; March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022) was an American actor. He came to prominence playing Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972) – a performance that earned him Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role in The Godfather Part II (1974). He received a motion-picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.[1][2]

After early roles in Howard Hawks' El Dorado (1966), Robert Altman's Countdown (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (1969), Caan gained acclaim for his portrayal of Brian Piccolo in the 1971 television movie Brian's Song, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie nomination. Caan received Golden Globe Award nominations for his performances in the drama The Gambler (1974), and the musical Funny Lady (1975). He continued to receive significant roles in feature films such as Cinderella Liberty (1973), Rollerball (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Comes a Horseman (1978), Chapter Two (1979) and Thief (1981).

After a five-year break from acting, he returned with roles in Gardens of Stone (1987), Misery (1990), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Eraser (1996), Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), The Yards (2000), City of Ghosts (2002), Elf (2003), and Get Smart (2008).

Early life

Caan was born on March 26, 1940, in The Bronx, New York City, to Sophie (née Falkenstein; 1915–2016)[3] and Arthur Caan (1909–1986), Jewish immigrants from Germany.[4][5][6] His father was a kosher meat dealer.[7] One of three siblings,[8][9] Caan grew up in Sunnyside, Queens. His sister, Barbara Emily Caan (Licker), died of leukemia in 1981, aged 38.[4]

Caan was educated in New York City, and later attended Michigan State University (MSU). He was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity during his two years at Michigan State.[10] During his time at MSU he wanted to play football but was unable to make the team.[11] He later transferred to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, but did not graduate. His classmates at Hofstra included Francis Ford Coppola and Lainie Kazan.[12]

While studying at Hofstra University, Caan became intrigued with acting. He enrolled in New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre,[13] where he studied for five years. One of his instructors was Sanford Meisner.[14] "I just fell in love with acting", he later recalled. "Of course all my improvs ended in violence."[15]



Caan began appearing off-Broadway in plays such as Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde[16] before making his 1961 Broadway debut in Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole.[17] In 1969, he starred in Coppola's The Rain People.[18]

Caan (left), Karyn Kupcinet, and Roy Thinnes appeared in the "Shadow of Violence" episode of Death Valley Days (1963).

Caan's first television appearance was in an episode of Naked City.[19] He was also seen in episodes of Play of the Week, Route 66, Alcoa Premiere, Dr. Kildare, The Untouchables (in an episode guest starring Lee Marvin), The Doctors and the Nurses, “Wagon TrainDeath Valley Days (twice),[20] Wide Country, and Combat! as a clever German sergeant.[21] He guest-starred on Ben Casey and Kraft Suspense Theatre.[22]

His first film was Irma la Douce (1963), in which he had an uncredited bit part as a U.S. soldier with a transistor radio more interested in a baseball game than the girl.[23] According to Filmink magazine:

People thought Caan was going to be a star pretty much from the get-go. And it’s not hard to see why. Watch him in his early movies and TV appearances, and he’s simply got “it”: he was handsome, virile-looking, and could act (New York trained, Broadway broken). Most of all, he had X factor: a nervous energy and intensity that you can feel off the screen. A lot of stars take a while to warm up – Caan was good from the beginning.[24]

Caan's first substantial film role was as a punk hoodlum who gets his eyes poked out in the 1964 thriller Lady in a Cage, which starred Olivia de Havilland, who praised Caan's performance.[25] He had roles in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Wagon Train.[26] He was fourth-billed in a Western feature, The Glory Guys (1965).[27] He turned down the starring role in a TV series around this time, saying, "I want to be an actor not a millionaire."[28]

In 1965, Caan landed his first starring role, in Howard Hawks' auto-racing drama Red Line 7000.[29] It was not a financial success. But Hawks liked Caan and cast him in his next film, El Dorado, playing Alan Bourdillion Traherne, a.k.a. Mississippi, in support of John Wayne and Robert Mitchum.[30] He had the starring role in Robert Altman's second feature film, Countdown (1967)[31] and was second billed in the Curtis Harrington thriller Games (1967).[32] Caan went to Britain to star in a war film, Submarine X-1 (1968),[33] then played the lead in a Western, Journey to Shiloh (1968).[34]

He returned to television with a guest role in The F.B.I.. He had an uncredited spot on the spy sitcom Get Smart as a favor to star Don Adams, playing Rupert of Rathskeller in the episode "To Sire with Love".[35]

Caan won praise for his role as a brain-damaged football player in The Rain People (1969), directed by Francis Ford Coppola.[36] He starred with Stefanie Powers in a Western called Gone with the West, filmed in 1969, that was not released until 1975.[37]

Caan starring in Submarine X-1 (1969)

None of these films, apart from El Dorado, was particularly successful at the box office, including Rabbit, Run (1970), based on the John Updike novel of the same name, in which Caan had the lead. He said it "was a film I really wanted to do, really wanted to be involved with."[38] "No one would put me in a movie", he later recalled. "They all said, 'His pictures never make money'."[39]


Caan returned to the small screen with the TV movie Brian's Song (1971), playing dying football player Brian Piccolo, opposite Billy Dee Williams.[40] Caan did not want to return to television and turned down the role several times,[41] but changed his mind after reading the script. The film was a huge critical success and Caan's performance earned him an Emmy nomination.[39] He got a deal to make a film and agreed to be in T.R. Baskin.[42]

Caan and Al Pacino in 1972

The following year, Coppola cast him as the short-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Originally, Caan was cast as Michael Corleone (Sonny's youngest brother); both Coppola and Caan demanded that this role be played by Al Pacino, so Caan could play Sonny instead. Robert De Niro was also considered to play Sonny. Although another actor, Carmine Caridi, was already signed to play Sonny, the studio eventually insisted on having Caan,[43] so he remained in the production.[44] Caan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film,[45] along with co-stars Robert Duvall and Pacino.[46] Caan was closely identified with the role for years afterward: "They called me a wiseguy. I won Italian of the Year twice in New York, and I'm Jewish, not Italian.... I was denied in a country club once. Oh yeah, the guy sat in front of the board, and he says, 'No, no, he's a wiseguy, been downtown. He's a made guy.' I thought, What? Are you out of your mind?"[47]

Caan was now established as a leading movie star.[48] He was in a road movie, Slither (1973), based on a script by W. D. Richter;[49] and a romantic comedy with Marsha Mason, Cinderella Liberty (1973), directed by Mark Rydell.[50] He received good reviews for playing the title role in The Gambler (1974), based on a script by James Toback originally written for Robert De Niro, and directed by Karel Reisz.[51] More popular at the box office was the action comedy Freebie and the Bean (1974) with Alan Arkin.[52]

Caan in 1976 during the filming of A Bridge Too Far

Caan reprised his role as Sonny Corleone for a flashback scene in The Godfather Part II (1974).[53] He had a hit with Funny Lady (1975) playing Billy Rose opposite Barbra Streisand's Fanny Brice.″[54] Caan starred in two action feature films, Norman Jewison's Rollerball (1975) as a star athlete of a deadly extreme sport,[55] and Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite (1975). Both were popular, though Caan hated Elite.[56] He made a cameo in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie (1976),[57] and tried comedy with Rydell's Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976).[58] Caan was so unhappy with the latter he sacked his management.[59] He said he did not want to make Elite or Harry but "people kept telling me I had to be commercial."[60]

Caan was one of many stars in the war film A Bridge Too Far (1977).[61] He had a change of pace when he went to France to make Another Man, Another Chance (1977) for director Claude Lelouch alongside Geneviève Bujold,[62] which Caan did for "peanuts"[63] and "loved" the experience.[59]

Back in the United States, Caan made a modern-day Western, Comes a Horseman (1978), with Jane Fonda for director Alan J. Pakula.[64] He was reunited with Marsha Mason in the film adaptation of Neil Simon's autobiographical Chapter Two (1979).[65] Caan later said he only did the film for the money as he was trying to raise money for his directorial debut, but it was a success at the box office.[66]

In 1978, Caan directed Hide in Plain Sight, a film about a father searching for his children, who were lost in the Witness Protection Program.[67] Despite critical praise, the film was only moderately successful with the public.[68]

During Caan's peak years of stardom, he rejected a series of starring roles that proved to be successes for other actors, in films including M*A*S*H, The French Connection, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Kramer vs. Kramer ("it was such middle class bourgeois baloney"[69]), Apocalypse Now (because Coppola "mentioned something about 16 weeks in the Philippine jungles"[63]), Blade Runner, Love Story, and Superman ("I didn't want to wear the cape".[63]).[69][70] In 1977, Caan rated several of his movies out of ten – The Godfather (10), Freebie and the Bean (4), Cinderella Liberty (8), The Gambler (8), Funny Lady (9), Rollerball (8), The Killer Elite (5), Harry and Walter Go to New York (0), Slither (4), A Bridge Too Far (7), and Another Man Another Chance (10).[59] He also liked his performances in The Rain People and Thief.[71]


Caan had a role in Claude Lelouch's Les Uns et les Autres (1981), which was popular in France,[72] and won the Technical Grand Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.[73] In Hollywood, Caan appeared in the neo-noir film Thief (1981), directed by Michael Mann, in which he played a professional safe cracker.[74] Although the film was not successful at the time, Caan's performance was widely lauded and the movie has acquired something of a cult following.[75] Caan always praised Mann's script and direction and often said that, next to The Godfather, Thief was the movie of which he was proudest.[76]

From 1982 to 1987, Caan suffered from depression over his sister's death from leukemia, a growing problem with cocaine, and what he described as "Hollywood burnout"[69] and did not act in any films.

In a 1992 interview, Caan said that this was a time when "a lot of mediocrity was produced. Because I think that directors got to the point where they made themselves too important. They didn't want anything or anybody to distract from their directorial prowess. There were actors who were good and capable, but they would distract from the special effects. It was a period of time when I said, 'I'm not going to work again.'"[77]

He walked off the set of The Holcroft Covenant and was replaced by Michael Caine. Caan devoted much of his time during these years to coaching children's sports.[15] In 1985 he was in a car crash.[78] Caan considered retiring for good but instead of being "set for life", as he believed, he found out one day that "I was flat-ass broke... I didn't want to work. But then when the dogs got hungry and I saw their ribs, I decided that maybe now it's a good idea."[79]

Caan returned to acting in 1987, when Coppola cast him as an army platoon sergeant for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in Gardens of Stone, a movie that dealt with the effect of the Vietnam War on the United States homefront.[80] He only received a quarter of his pre-hiatus salary, and then had to kick in tens of thousands more to the completion bond company because of Holcroft. "I don't know what it is, but, boy, when you're down, they like to stomp on you", he said.[79] The movie was not a popular success but Alien Nation (1988), where Caan played a cop who partnered with an alien, did well. The film received a television spinoff.[81] He had a support role as Spaldoni, under much make up, in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy.[82]


Caan was planning to make an action film in Italy, but then heard Rob Reiner was looking for a leading man in his adaptation of Stephen King's Misery (1990). Since the script for Misery called for the male lead, Paul Sheldon, to spend most of his time lying in bed tormented by his nurse, the role was turned down by many of Hollywood's leading actors before Caan accepted.[79] Caan had a small role in The Dark Backward (1991) and co-starred with Bette Midler in the expensive For the Boys (1991), directed by Rydell who called Caan "one of the four or five best actors in America".[69]

Caan was a gangster in the comedy Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)[83] and played Coach Winters in The Program (1993).[84] He had supporting roles in Flesh and Bone (1993)[85] and A Boy Called Hate (1995), the latter starring his son Scott Caan.[86] In 1996, he appeared in North Star, a Western; Bottle Rocket, the directorial debut of Wes Anderson;[87] Eraser, with Arnold Schwarzenegger;[88] and Bulletproof with Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans.[89] In 1998, Caan portrayed Philip Marlowe in the HBO film Poodle Springs.[90] He was also in This Is My Father (1998).[91] Caan was a gangster for comedy in Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), with Hugh Grant.[92]


Caan was in The Yards (2000) with Mark Wahlberg and director James Gray, Luckytown (2000) with Kirsten Dunst, and The Way of the Gun (2000) for Christopher McQuarrie.[93] Caan starred in TV movies like Warden of Red Rock (2001) and A Glimpse of Hell (2001), and was in some thrillers: Viva Las Nowhere (2001), In the Shadows (2001), and Night at the Golden Eagle (2002). He was in Lathe of Heaven with Lukas Haas (2002), City of Ghosts (2002) with Matt Dillon, Blood Crime (2002), The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie (2003), and Jericho Mansions (2003).[94] Most of these films were not widely seen, but Dogville (2003) and Elf (2003), in which Caan had key supporting roles, were big successes on the art house and commercial circuit respectively.[95][96]

Caan in 2000

In 2003, Caan portrayed Jimmy the Con in the film This Thing of Ours, whose associate producer was Sonny Franzese, longtime mobster and underboss of the Colombo crime family.[97] The same year, Caan played Will Ferrell's estranged book publisher father in the enormously successful family Christmas comedy Elf, and auditioned for, and won, the role of Montecito Hotel/Casino president "Big Ed" Deline in Las Vegas.[98] On February 27, 2007, 27 days before his 67th birthday, Caan announced that he would not return to the show for its fifth season to return to film work; he was replaced by Tom Selleck.[99]

Caan had a role in the TV movie Wisegal (2008),[100] played the President of the United States in the 2008 film Get Smart,[101] and had a part in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009).[102] He was one of many stars in New York, I Love You (2008)[103] and had a support role in Middle Men (2009).[104] He did Mercy (2009), which his son Scott wrote and also starred in.[105]


Caan appeared in Henry's Crime (2010), Detachment (2011), Small Apartments (2012), That's My Boy (2012) with Adam Sandler, For the Love of Money (2012), and Blood Ties (2013). In 2012, Caan was a guest star on the re-imagined Hawaii Five-0 TV series, playing opposite his son, Scott Caan who played Danny "Danno" Williams. As of 2010 Caan was the chairman of an Internet company, Openfilm, intended to help up-and-coming filmmakers.[106] In 2013, Caan portrayed Chicago mob kingpin Sy Berman in the Starz TV drama Magic City.[107] He tried another regular series, the sitcom Back in the Game (2013) with Maggie Lawson.[108]

Caan with Guillaume Canet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013

Caan returned to film work with A Fighting Man (2013) and The Outsider (2014). In 2014, Caan appeared in the dramatic comedy Preggoland, playing a father who is disappointed with his daughter's lack of ambition, but who becomes overjoyed when she (falsely) announces that she is pregnant. The film premiered in the Special Presentations section at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival[109] The film had its U.S. premiere on January 28, 2015, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Crackle premiered The Throwaways on January 30, 2015. Caan plays Lt. Col. Christopher Holden, who leads a team fighting a cyberterrorist.[110]

Caan's later films include The Wrong Boyfriend (2015), Sicilian Vampire (2015), JL Ranch (2016), and Good Enough (2016). He had the lead in The Good Neighbor (2016), The Red Maple Leaf (2016), and Undercover Grandpa (2017).[111] In 2019, he starred in Carol Morley's crime drama Out of Blue.[112]In 2024 he appeared with Pierce Brosnan in the film ' Fast Charlie'.

Personal life

Caan at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

Caan married four times. In 1961,[113] he married Dee Jay Mathis; they divorced in 1966. They had a daughter, Tara (born 1964). Caan's second marriage to Sheila Marie Ryan (a former girlfriend of Elvis Presley) in 1976 was short-lived; they divorced the following year.[114] Their son, Scott Caan, also an actor, was born August 23, 1976.

Caan was married to Ingrid Hajek from September 1990 to March 1994; they had a son, Alexander James Caan, born 1991. In a 1994 interview with Vanity Fair, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss claimed to be in a relationship with Caan during his marriage to Hajek in 1992, visiting him on the set of Flesh and Bone in Texas.[115] Caan said his relationship with Fleiss was platonic.[116]

Caan married Linda Stokes on October 7, 1995, they had two sons, James Arthur Caan (born 1995) and Jacob Nicholas Caan (born 1998). Caan filed for divorce in 2017, citing irreconcilable differences.[117]

In 1994, Caan was arrested and released after being accused by a Los Angeles rap artist of pulling a gun on him.[118]

Caan was a practicing martial artist. He trained with Takayuki Kubota for nearly 30 years, earning various ranks.[119] He was a Master (6th Dan) of Gosoku-ryu Karate and was granted the title of Soke Dai by the International Karate Association.[4]

He also took part in steer roping at rodeos and referred to himself as the "only Jewish cowboy from New York on the professional rodeo cowboy circuit."[120]

Alleged links to organized crime

During production of The Godfather in 1971, Caan was known to hang out with Carmine Persico, also known as "The Snake",[121] a notorious mafioso and later head of the Colombo crime family. Government agents briefly mistook Caan, who was relatively unknown at the time, as an aspiring mobster.[122][123] Caan was also a friend of Colombo Family mobster Andrew Russo who is the godfather of Caan's son Scott Caan.[124]

In 1982, according to a conversation intercepted by the FBI between Caan and mobster Anthony Fiato, Caan had Fiato beat up actor Joe Pesci over Pesci failing to pay an $8,000 bill to a hotel.[125][126]

Political views

Caan supported Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential election.[127]


On July 6, 2022, Caan died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, at the age of 82, from a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease. At the time of his death, he also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.[17][128] He was buried at Eden Memorial Park Cemetery.[128]

Tributes to Caan were paid by Rob Reiner, Francis Ford Coppola, Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Robert Duvall, Kathy Bates, and Will Ferrell among others.[129][130][131]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1963 Irma la Douce Soldier with Radio Uncredited[23] [132]
1964 Lady in a Cage Randall Simpson O'Connell [132]
1965 The Glory Guys Pvt. Anthony Dugan [132]
Red Line 7000 Mike Marsh [132]
1966 El Dorado Alan Bourdillion "Mississippi" Traherne Director: Howard Hawks [132]
1967 Games Paul Montgomery [132]
1968 Countdown Lee Stegler [132]
Submarine X-1 Cmdr. Richard Bolton [132]
Journey to Shiloh Buck Burnett [132]
1969 The Rain People Jimmy Kilgannon [132]
1970 Rabbit, Run Rabbit Angstrom [132]
1971 T.R. Baskin Larry Moore [132]
1972 The Godfather Santino "Sonny" Corleone [132]
1973 Slither Dick Kanipsia [132]
Cinderella Liberty John Baggs Jr. [132]
1974 The Gambler Axel Freed [132]
Freebie and the Bean Freebie [132]
The Godfather Part II Santino "Sonny" Corleone Cameo [132]
1975 Gone with the West Jud McGraw Filmed in 1969; also known as "Man Without Mercy" [132]
Funny Lady Billy Rose [132]
Rollerball Jonathan E. [132]
1976 The Killer Elite Mike Locken [132]
Silent Movie Himself [132]
Harry and Walter Go to New York Harry Dighby [132]
1977 A Bridge Too Far Sgt. Eddie Dohun [132]
Another Man, Another Chance David Williams [132]
1978 Comes a Horseman Frank "Buck" Athearn [132]
1979 1941 Sailor in Fight Uncredited [132]
Chapter Two George Schneider [132]
1980 Hide in Plain Sight Thomas Hacklin Also director [132]
1981 Thief Frank [132]
1982 Kiss Me Goodbye Jolly Villano [132]
1984 Les Uns et les Autres Jack Glenn / Jason Glenn [132]
1987 Gardens of Stone SFC Clell Hazard [132]
1988 Alien Nation Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes [132]
1990 Dick Tracy Spud Spaldoni [132]
Misery Paul Sheldon [132]
1991 The Dark Backward Doctor Scurvy [132]
For the Boys Eddie Sparks [132]
1992 Honeymoon in Vegas Tommy Korman [132]
1993 The Program Coach Sam Winters [132]
Flesh and Bone Roy Sweeney [132]
1995 A Boy Called Hate Jim [132]
1996 North Star Sean McLennon [132]
Bottle Rocket Mr. Abe Henry [132]
Eraser U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin [132]
Bulletproof Frank Colton [132]
1997 Howard Hawks: American Artist Himself [132]
1999 This Is My Father Kieran Johnson [132]
Mickey Blue Eyes Frank Vitale [132]
2000 The Yards Frank Olchin [132]
Luckytown Charlie Doyles [132]
The Way of the Gun Joe Sarno [132]
2001 Viva Las Nowhere Roy Baker [132]
In the Shadows Lance Huston [94]
Night at the Golden Eagle Prison Warden Uncredited [132]
2002 City of Ghosts Marvin [132]
2003 Dogville The Big Man [132]
This Thing of Ours Jimmy "The Con" [94]
Jericho Mansions Leonard Grey [132]
Elf Walter Hobbs [132]
2005 Santa's Slay Darren Mason Uncredited [94]
2008 Wisegal Salvatore Palmeri [94]
Get Smart The President [132]
New York, I Love You Mr. Riccoli Segment: "Brett Ratner" [132]
2009 Middle Men Jerry Haggerty [132]
Mercy Gerry Ryan [132]
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Tim Lockwood Voice [132]
2010 Henry's Crime Max Saltzman [132]
Minkow Paul Vinsant [133]
2011 Detachment Mr. Charles Seaboldt [132]
2012 Small Apartments Mr. Allspice [132]
That's My Boy Father McNally [132]
For the Love of Money Mickey [94]
2013 Blood Ties Leon Pierzynski [132]
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Tim Lockwood Voice [132]
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya The Bamboo Cutter Voice; English dub [132]
2014 The Outsider Karl Schuster [94]
A Fighting Man Brother Albright [94]
Preggoland Walter Huxley [94]
2015 The Throwaways Lt. Col. Christopher Holden [94]
Sicilian Vampire Professor Bernard Isaacs [94]
2016 The Good Neighbor Harold Grainey [94]
The Red Maple Leaf George Lawrence Secord [94]
2017 Undercover Grandpa Grandpa [94]
Holy Lands Harry Rosenmerck [132]
2018 Out of Blue Col. Tom Rockwell [94]
Con Man Agent Gamble [94]
2021 Queen Bees Dan Simpson [94]
2023 Fast Charlie Stan Mullen Posthumous release [134]


Year Title Role Notes
1961 Route 66 Johnny - street gang leader Episode: "And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon"[94]
The Untouchables Keir Brannon Episode: "A Fast of Five"[94]
1963 Death Valley Days Jim McKinney / Bob 2 episodes[94]
Kraft Suspense Theatre Rick Peterson Episode: "The Hunt"[94]
1964 Combat! German sergeant Episode: "Anatomy of a Patrol"[94]
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Jay Shaw / Phil Beldone Episode: "Memos from Purgatory"[94]
1965 Wagon Train Paul Episode: "The Echo Pass Story"[94]
1969 The F.B.I. Eugene Episode "A Life in the Balance"[94]
Get Smart Rupert of Rathskeller (uncredited) 2 episodes "To Sire, with Love: Parts 1 and 2"[94]
1971 Brian's Song Brian Piccolo Television film[132]
1996 NewsRadio James Caan / Himself Episode: "Movie Star"[135]
1998 Poodle Springs Philip Marlowe Television film[94]
2001 Warden of Red Rock John Flinders
A Glimpse of Hell Capt. Fred Moosally
2002 Lathe of Heaven Dr. William Haber
Blood Crime Sheriff Morgan McKenna
2003 The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie Harry Dewitt
2003–2007 Las Vegas Ed Deline Main role, 88 episodes[94]
2004 Crossing Jordan Episode: "What Happens in Vegas Dies in Boston""[94]
The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "All's Fair in Oven War"[94]
2010 Family Guy Episode: "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side"[94]
Annoying Orange Jalepeño (voice) Web series[136]
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Tony Archer Episode: "Lekio"[137]
2013 Magic City Sy Berman 5 episodes[94]
Back in the Game Terry "The Cannon" Gannon 13 episodes[94]
2015 Wuthering High School Mr. Earnshaw Television film[138]
2016 The American West Himself Episode 8: "The Last Vendetta"
J.L. Family Ranch Tap Peterson Television film[94]
2020 J.L. Family Ranch: The Wedding Gift

Video games

Year Title Role
2006 The Godfather Sonny Corleone (voice)[139]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Project Result
1965 Golden Globe Award New Star of the Year The Glory Guys Nominated
1972 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Brian's Song Nominated
1972 Academy Award Best Supporting Actor The Godfather Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
1974 Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama The Gambler Nominated
1975 Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Funny Lady Nominated
1975 Saturn Award Best Actor Rollerball Won
1990 Misery Nominated


  1. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame – James Caan". walkoffame.com. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on October 24, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Sophie Caan (1915–2016)". Los Angeles Times. January 20, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2021 – via Legacy.com.
  4. ^ a b c Model, Betsy. "The Ultimate Caan". Cigar Aficionado. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  5. ^ Husband, Stuart (August 22, 1999). "Sheer Caan". The Guardian. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Mallenbaum, Carly (November 29, 2018). "Adam Sandler's 'Chanukah Song': Are all of those celebs actually Jewish?". USA Today. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  7. ^ Haberman, Clyde (July 7, 2022). "James Caan, Hot-Tempered Sonny of 'The Godfather,' Is Dead at 82". The New York Times. p. A22. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  8. ^ "James Caan biography". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  9. ^ "Overview for James Caan". Tcm.com. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "Beloved actor, former MSU football player James Caan passes away at 82". Spartanswire.usatoday.com. July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  11. ^ "James Caan | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  12. ^ Samuel, Neena (April 4, 2014). "Five Minutes With...Film Professor Rodney Hill".
  13. ^ Welsh, James M.; Phillips, Gene D.; Hill, Rodney F. (2010). The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-8108-7651-4.
  14. ^ Jones, Jenny M. (2009). Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay with Commentary on Every Scene, Interviews, and Little-Known Facts. Running Press. p. 440. ISBN 978-1-60376-372-1.
  15. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (May 17, 2004). "James Caan Takes a Gamble On 'Las Vegas,' and Scores". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Vallely, Jean (July 8, 2022). "'I Don't Need Hollywood': The Lost James Caan Interview". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Pulver, Andrew (July 7, 2022). "The Godfather star James Caan dies aged 82". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022.
  18. ^ "James Caan keeps making comebacks". Standard-Speaker. Hazleton, Pennsylvania. January 18, 1991. p. 27. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022.
  19. ^ Emmy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 1979. p. 6.
  20. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (July 7, 2022). "Actor James Caan, Oscar-nominated as Sonny Corleone in 'The Godfather,' dies at 82". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  21. ^ Mitchell, E., Mitchell, B., (Writers), McEveety, B. (Director).(1963, November 26). Anatomy of a Patrol [Television Episode]. Combat! ABC Productions.
  22. ^ "19 Dec 1963, 42 – Kenosha News at". Newspapers.com. December 19, 1963. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  23. ^ a b Benson, Raymond. "Review: Billy Wilder's "Irma La Douce" (1963) Starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine; Blu-Ray Special Edition". Cinema Retro. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  24. ^ Vagg, Stephen (September 27, 2022). "The Stardom of James Caan". Filmink.
  25. ^ Hopper, H. (March 25, 1963). "Mankiewicz races deadline on 'cleo'". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 168235416.
  26. ^ Obituaries, Telegraph (July 7, 2022). James Caan, actor indelibly associated with his thrilling performance as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather – obituary. Retrieved July 8, 2022. ((cite book)): |newspaper= ignored (help)
  27. ^ Pym, John (1998). Time Out Film Guide. Penguin Books. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-14-027525-4.
  28. ^ Harford, M. (September 30, 1965). "Career's the thing for James Caan". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155268288.
  29. ^ Harford, Margaret (September 30, 1965). "Career's the Thing for James Caan". Los Angeles Times. p. A10.
  30. ^ Hawks, Howard (2006). Howard Hawks: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. xl. ISBN 978-1-57806-832-6.
  31. ^ Danks, Adrian (2015). A Companion to Robert Altman. John Wiley & Sons. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-118-28890-0.
  32. ^ Schneider, Jay (2003). "Murder as Art/The Art of Murder Stephen". In Schneider, Steven Jay; Shaw, Daniel (eds.). Dark Thoughts: Philosophic Reflections on Cinematic Horror. Scarecrow Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-8108-4792-7.
  33. ^ Hughes, Howard (2012). When Eagles Dared: The Filmgoers' History of World War II. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-85772-150-1.
  34. ^ Pfeiffer, Lee; Lewis, Michael (2002). The Films of Harrison Ford. Citadel Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8065-2364-4.
  35. ^ Lentz III, Harris M. (2001). Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits: Television shows. McFarland. p. 1850. ISBN 978-0-7864-0942-6.
  36. ^ Robbins, Caryn (October 2, 2013). "BWW Interviews – James Caan, Maggie Lawson Chat New ABC Comedy BACK IN THE GAME". Broadway World. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  37. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2012). Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7864-6372-5.
  38. ^ Warga, W. (November 21, 1969). "Movie Role Sends Caan to Psychologist's Couch". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 156354299.
  39. ^ a b Haber, J. (May 27, 1973). "James Caan: Hollywood's Jock of All Trades". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157282443.
  40. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2010). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. McFarland. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-7864-6101-1.
  41. ^ Williams, Randy (2006). Sports Cinema 100 Movies: The Best of Hollywood's Athletic Heroes, Losers, Myths, and Misfits. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-87910-331-6.
  42. ^ Siskel, G. (September 12, 1971). "Caan Quits Mafia to Join Chicago Bears (on film)". Chicago Tribune. ProQuest 169988925.
  43. ^ Seal, Mark (2021). Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather. Simon and Schuster. pp. 174–175. ISBN 978-1-9821-5861-3.
  44. ^ Koseluk, Chris (July 7, 2022). "James Caan, Macho Leading Man of Hollywood, Dies at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  45. ^ Staff (July 7, 2022). "James Caan: Oscar-nominated actor and Godfather star dies at 82". BBC News. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022.
  46. ^ Dorney, John; Regan, Jessica; Salinsky, Tom (2022). Best Pick: A Journey Through Film History and the Academy Awards. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-5381-6311-5.
  47. ^ Seal, Mark (February 4, 2009). "The Godfather Wars". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  48. ^ Staff (July 7, 2022). "Hollywood remembers Godfather star James Caan". News24.com. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  49. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 4, 1973). "Slither" movie review & film summary (1973) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014.
  50. ^ Brady, James (1973). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. p. 70.
  51. ^ Dougan, Andy (2011). Untouchable: Robert De Niro: Unauthorised. Random House. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7535-4684-0.
  52. ^ Sabin, Roger; Wilson, Ronald; Speidel, Linda (2015). Cop Shows: A Critical History of Police Dramas on Television. McFarland. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4766-1643-8.
  53. ^ Lebo, Harlan (2005). The Godfather Legacy: The Untold Story of the Making of the Classic Godfather Trilogy Featuring Never-Before-Published Production Stills. Simon and Schuster. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-7432-8777-7.
  54. ^ Atkinson, Katie (July 7, 2022). "Barbra Streisand Remembers Her 'Funny Lady' Co-Star James Caan: 'He Was So Talented'". Billboard.
  55. ^ Edgington, K.; Erskine, Thomas; Welsh, James M. (2010). Encyclopedia of Sports Films. Scarecrow Press. p. 397. ISBN 978-0-8108-7653-8.
  56. ^ Simmons, Garner (2004). Peckinpah. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-61774-449-5.
  57. ^ Brooks, Mel (2006). "My Movies: The Collision of Art and Money". In Squire, Jason E. (ed.). The Movie Business Book. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). p. 45. ISBN 978-0-335-22002-1.
  58. ^ Ziesmer, Jerry (2003). Ready When You Are, Mr. Coppola, Mr. Spielberg, Mr. Crowe. Scarecrow Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8108-7700-9.
  59. ^ a b c Siskel, Gene (November 27, 1977). "James Caan's career hitting tough times". Chicago Tribune. p. e6.
  60. ^ Farley, E. (November 27, 1977). "'Another Man' Raises Ante in the Caan Game". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 158462726.
  61. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 17, 1977). A Bridge Too Far movie review (1977) | Roger Ebert.
  62. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2017). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide: The Modern Era, Previously Published as Leonard Maltin's 2015 Movie Guide. Penguin. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-525-53619-2.
  63. ^ a b c R. E. (1978). "Buddy, This is Me, James Caan". The Washington Post. ProQuest 146952210.
  64. ^ Kilday, G. (December 7, 1977). "FILM CLIPS". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 158507039.
  65. ^ "James Caan Filmography". TCM.
  66. ^ Mann, Roderick (November 2, 1980). "MOVIES: FILM DIRECTING: FOR CAAN, IT'S NOT A FESTIVAL". Los Angeles Times. p. Q31.
  67. ^ King, Danny (May 18, 2018). Don't Miss "Hide in Plain Sight" at the Queens Alt-Programming Coup the Caan Film Festival. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018.
  68. ^ Staff (1981). Top actors taking a turn as boss behind the camera. Weekly World News. p. 47.
  69. ^ a b c d Bernard Weinraub (November 17, 1991). "James Caan Rises From the Ashes of His Career". The New York Times. p. H13. It wasn't that I did bad pictures. I just banished myself for a while.
  70. ^ "Caan Rues The Bad Choices That Prompted Him To Turn Down Movies". Contactmusic.com. September 12, 2005. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  71. ^ Siskel, Gene (May 11, 1980). "Movies: James Caan: Frustrated star talks tough about his career Tough talk from a frustrated star". Chicago Tribune. p. D2.
  72. ^ "Les Uns et les autres (1981) - JPBox-Office".
  73. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Les Uns et les Autres". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  74. ^ Tobias, Scott (March 25, 2021). "Thief at 40: Michael Mann's confident debut sent a message". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 25, 2021.
  75. ^ Bumbray, Chris (August 12, 2016). "The Best Movie You Never Saw: Michael Mann's Thief". joblo.com. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  76. ^ Blauvelt, Christian (July 7, 2022). James Caan Dead: New Hollywood Icon and Beloved 'Godfather' and 'Misery' Star Was 82. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  77. ^ Lee, Luaine (August 28, 1992). "James Caan Happily Returns to Slick, Sleazy Persona". Orlando Sentinel. ProQuest 278082865.
  78. ^ "James caan injured in crash". Los Angeles Times. December 12, 1985. ProQuest 154489731.
  79. ^ a b c Finke, Nikki (November 29, 1990). "James Caan Enjoying His 'Misery' : Hollywood's Reputed Bad Boy Resurfaces in the Rob Reiner-Directed Psychological Thriller". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  80. ^ Siskel, Gene (May 3, 1987). "Film: A star is reborn James Caan acts his way out of a deep slump". Chicago Tribune. p. L6.
  81. ^ "5 Sep 1989, 41 – Austin American-Statesman at". Newspapers.com. September 5, 1989. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  82. ^ "Warren Beatty's 'Dick Tracy' on Blu-ray for first time". Usatoday.com. December 14, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  83. ^ "Honeymoon In Vegas proved that comedy is Nic Cage's true calling". Avclub.com. May 19, 2021. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  84. ^ "Inside 'The Program,' college football's favorite cult hit". ESPN.com. September 28, 2018.
  85. ^ "Review/Film; Building a Future on a Shaky Past – The New York Times". The New York Times. November 5, 1993. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  86. ^ "Certainly closer than they appear". Los Angeles Times. June 7, 2009.
  87. ^ Howe, Desson (February 23, 1996). "'Bottle Rocket'". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  88. ^ Kempley, Rita (June 21, 1996). "'Eraser,' Rubbing Them Out Right and Left". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  89. ^ Howe, Desson (September 6, 1996). "Bulletproof' Hits The Spot". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  90. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2004). Famous Movie Detectives III. Scarecrow Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-8108-3690-7.
  91. ^ Ebert, Roger. "This Is My Father movie review (1999) | Roger Ebert". Roger Ebert. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  92. ^ "'Mickey Blue Eyes' (PG-13)". Washingtonpost.com. August 20, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  93. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 8, 2000). "The Way of the Gun movie review (2000) | Roger Ebert". rogerebert.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  94. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "James Caan List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  95. ^ "Lars von Trier on the highs and lows of making Dogville". The Guardian. January 12, 2004.
  96. ^ Lavender, Natasha (December 22, 2020). "The Untold Truth Of Elf". Looper.com.
  97. ^ "Law and Order; In the Can", The New York Times, November 3, 2002
  98. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (May 17, 2004). "James Caan Takes a Gamble 'On Las Vegas,' and Scores". The New York Times. p. E1.
  99. ^ "Tom Selleck Joins Vegas... as James Caan Returns?". TV Guide. May 9, 2007.
  100. ^ Andree, Nellie; Nordyke, Kimberly (October 30, 2007). "Caan calls the shots in 'Wisegal'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  101. ^ Hiltbrand, David. "Sorry about that, classic 'Get Smart' fans". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  102. ^ Gold, Daniel M. (September 18, 2009). "A Yummy Forecast". The New York Times.
  103. ^ "New York, I Love You — Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. October 5, 2009.
  104. ^ Scott, A. O. (August 5, 2010). "A Purveyor of Prurience in a Family-Man Guise". The New York Times.
  105. ^ Murphy, Mekado (May 3, 2010). "James and Scott Caan on 'Mercy'". ArtsBeat.
  106. ^ "Website offers filmmakers aid". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  107. ^ Pierce, Scott D. (June 13, 2013). "Scott D. Pierce: Caan returns as an older, wiser mobster – The Salt Lake Tribune". Archive.sltrib.com. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  108. ^ "Review: ABC's 'Back in the Game' finds James Caan in fine Dad form". Los Angeles Times. September 25, 2013.
  109. ^ "TIFF 14 – Preggoland". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  110. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (November 10, 2014). "Q and A: Week of Nov. 10". King Features. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  111. ^ "SXSW genre films "THE WAITING" and "I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER" land distribution". Archived from the original on May 17, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  112. ^ Kermode, Mark (March 31, 2019). "Out of Blue review – Carol Morley's visionary thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  113. ^ "James Caan profile". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  114. ^ Graef, Aileen (January 27, 2015). "James Caan files for divorce from wife Linda". UPI.
  115. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn. "Heidi Does Hollywood". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  116. ^ Bergan, Ronald (July 8, 2022). "James Caan obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  117. ^ Rivera, Zayda (January 27, 2015). "James Caan files for divorce from wife Linda Stokes for the third time". New York Daily News.
  118. ^ "James Caan Arrested, Released After Alleged Gun Incident". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  119. ^ "The History of Karate in America" Archived November 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, usadojo.com; retrieved November 1, 2006.
  120. ^ Bernstein, Adam (July 7, 2022). "James Caan, actor who played hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in 'The Godfather,' dies at 82". The Washington Post.
  121. ^ Dimatteo, Frank; Benson, Michael (2018). Carmine the Snake: Carmine Persico and His Murderous Mafia Family. Citadel Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-8065-3883-9.
  122. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (February 21, 1992). "Real-Life Tough Guys and Silver-Screen Gangsters". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  123. ^ "The Real Story Behind The Making Of The Godfather Mafia Epic Masterpiece". youtube.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  124. ^ "Mob big's pals 'act' the part". January 26, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  125. ^ Frauenfelder, Mark (July 8, 2022). "Mobster says James Caan once ordered a "Mafia style" beating of Joe Pesci over unpaid hotel bill". Boing Boing. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  126. ^ Bergan, Ronald (July 8, 2022). "James Caan obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  127. ^ Brinn, David (July 22, 2016). "James Caan believes Trump makes the US an offer it can't refuse". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  128. ^ a b Rice, Nicholas (July 23, 2022). "James Caan's Cause of Death Revealed as a Combination of Heart Problems". People. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  129. ^ Sinha, Charu (July 8, 2022). "Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Duvall, and More Mourn James Caan". Vulture. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022.
  130. ^ Sblendorio, Peter (July 7, 2022). "James Caan's death mourned by 'Godfather' director Francis Ford Coppola, stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  131. ^ Rowan, Iona (July 8, 2022). "Elf stars pay a sweet tribute to James Caan". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  132. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu "James Caan". BFI. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  133. ^ Parloff, Roger. "Barry Minkow: All-American con man". Fortune. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  134. ^ Juneau, Jen (July 8, 2022). "Pierce Brosnan Shares Photos of James Caan from Set of Late Actor's Final Film: 'You Were an Inspiration'". People. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  135. ^ "NewsRadio > Season 3 > Episode 8". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  136. ^ "Caan appears in 'Annoying Orange' short". UPI. December 21, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  137. ^ Choi, Myong (February 28, 2012). "'Hawaii Five-O' Recap: 'Lekio'". Honolulu Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  138. ^ Eichel, Molly (March 14, 2015). "Skip Wuthering High School". AV Club. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  139. ^ "Duvall and Caan in 'Godfather' video game". Web.kitsapsun.com. Retrieved July 7, 2022.