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Actor James Caan is dead

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Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), the obsessive fan of Paul Sheldon (James Caan) in Rob Reiner’s Misery, must be in trouble. The illustrious American actor breathed his last at the age of 82 on the evening of Wednesday July 6, announced his family and his manager, Thursday July 7 on Twitter. But James Caan had above all marked the cinema planet by playing Sonny Corleone in The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola. His last appearance on screen was in 2021, but he appeared last February on the highly publicized 50th anniversary of the release of The Godfather.

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. End of tweet

After a few TV appearances in various series, the actor, originally from the Bronx, from a German Jewish family, made his film debut in 1963 in Irma la Douce by Billy Wilder, but it was in 1966, in the film by Howard Hawks , El Dorado, in which he co-stars with two Hollywood giants, Robert Mitchum and John Wayne, which he really gets noticed.

In The Godfather, the actor makes a name for himself playing Sonny Corleone, Vito’s eldest son. The film definitively opened the doors of Hollywood to him and the actor chained roles under the direction of the best directors: Norman Jewison (Rollerball), Sam Peckinpah (Elite Killer), Mel Brooks (The Last Madness of Mel Brooks) or Spielberg (1941).

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“I still think if I had the change that day, I could have gotten a lot richer,” he joked years later, referring to his death at the tollbooth while waiting for his change. “If I had known they were going to make The Godfather 2 (in which he had a small role for a flashback), I would have refused to die”, he quipped, judging that this film had been a “blessing” for him.

The actor had the opportunity to find Coppola in the excellent Stone Gardens in 1987. He had also toured France in Les uns et les autres by Claude Lelouch. He even tried directing in 1980 with The Impossible Witness. “Jimmy was someone who was part of my life longer and more closely than any other cinematic figure I have ever known,” reacted Francis Ford Coppola, welcoming in a statement to Agence France Presse his ” old friend” and “one of the funniest people I’ve ever known”.

“Jimmy was my fictional brother and lifelong friend. It’s hard to imagine that he is no longer of this world, he was so full of life and daring, “said Al Pacino, who played the role of Michael Corleone, Sonny’s little brother. . Robert De Niro, who also starred in The Godfather series, said he was “very, very sad to hear of Jimmy’s passing.”

“His movies were the best of the best,” New York actor and screenwriter Adam Sandler tweeted. ” I loved him so much. I always wanted to be like him. I am so happy to have known him. I never stopped laughing when I was with that man,” he added. “Jimmy was one of the greatest. Not only was he one of the best actors our industry has ever seen, but he was funny, loyal, caring and loved,” said manager Matt DelPiano.

A prolific actor, who had acted in dozens of films over six decades, including James Gray’s The Yards (2000), Matt Dillon’s City of Ghosts (2002), or who lent his voice in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), James Caan had been married four times and had five children.