Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and more pay tribute to James Caan

James Caan – the star of movies like The Godfather, Misery, and Thief – has passed away at age 82 and Hollywood came out in full force to pay tribute to the actor. 

“Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend,” Caan’s The Godfather co-star Al Pacino said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe that he won’t be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I’m gonna miss him.”

Caan is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando)’s oldest son, Sonny, in The Godfather, a role which earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The movie’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, said: “Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known. “From those earlier times working together on The Rain People and throughout all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten. He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”

Robert De Niro added: “I’m very, very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.”

Michael Mann, who directed Caan in the 1981 heist movie Thief, said: “What a terrible and tragic loss. Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times. There was a core of values within him about how people should be, more or less. It might be variable, the corners could be rounded with urban irony, but there was a line and it was non-fungible. And it produced many outrageous and hilarious anecdotes.”

He added: “I loved him and I loved working with him. He reached into the core of his being during difficult personal times to be the rebellious, half wild child, institutionalized outsider Frank, in my first film, Thief. Frank is half Frank, half Jimmy.  The character and the man – like his Sonny in The Godfather – were made for each other. Unique. What a loss.”

Sharon Stone, who starred alongside Caan in the 1984 French film Les Uns et les Autres, tweeted (opens in new tab): “My second acting job was [with] James Caan. He was so much fun. From that moment on he always had my back. Jimmy, I treasure every second. Go with God.”

Other Hollywood actors also took to Twitter to pay their condolences. “James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him,”  Adam Sandler tweeted (opens in new tab). Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love.”

Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger posted (opens in new tab): “James Caan was an icon – a legend. He inspired everyone who has ever been in front of a camera. I was lucky to work with him and see his talent and his fantastic sense of humor firsthand. He was a great training partner in the gym and a true friend, and I’ll miss him.”

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