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James Caan
James Caan 1976.jpg
Caan in 1976
James Edmund Caan

(1940-03-26)March 26, 1940
Died July 6, 2022(2022-07-06) (aged 82)
Alma mater Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Occupation Actor
Years active 1961–2022
  • 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)
Children 5, including Scott Caan

James Langston Edmund Caan (March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022) was an American movie, stage and television actor. He is known for his role of Sonny Corleone in 1972's The Godfather and for his role as Ed Deline on Las Vegas. He was nominated for many awards, including the Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe. He also played Frank in Thief, Ed Deline in Las Vegas and Paul Sheldon in Misery.

Caan was the son of Sophie (née Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan, Jewish immigrants from Germany. He was a conservative and supported Donald Trump.

For his contributions to the film industry, Caan was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 with a motion pictures star located at 6648 Hollywood Boulevard.

Caan died on July 6, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 82.

Early life

Caan was born on March 26, 1940, in the Bronx, New York to a family of Jewish immigrants from Germany. His father was a meat dealer and butcher. One of three siblings, Caan grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, New York City. He was educated in New York City, but did not graduate. Some of his classmates included Francis Ford Coppola and Lainie Kazan.

While studying at Hofstra University, however, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed for, accepted to, and graduated from, New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, where he studied for five years.


James Caan - Submarine 1969
Starring in Submarine X-1 (1969)

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), episode of Newsradio (1997), Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), The Yards (2000), City of Ghosts (2002), Elf (2003), and Get Smart (2008).

Other work

Caan was a practicing martial artist. He trained with Takayuki Kubota for nearly thirty years, earning various ranks. He was a Master (Rank = 6 Dan) of Gosoku Ryu Karate and was granted the title of Soke Dai by the International Karate Association.

Personal life

Caan was married four times. In 1961, 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's) in 1976 was short-lived; they divorced the following year. 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. He 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 on November 20, 2009.

James Caan had five children.



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


Year1964 Wagon Train Outlaw opposite Jack Lord "The Echo Pass Story", Season 8 Episode 14 which aired on 2/13/1964.
1961 Route 66 Johnny - street gang leader Episode: "And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon"
The Untouchables Keir Brannon Episode: "A Fast of Five"
1963 Death Valley Days Jim McKinney / Bob 2 episodes
Kraft Suspense Theatre Rick Peterson Episode: "The Hunt"
1964 Combat! German sergeant Episode: "Anatomy of a Patrol"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Jay Shaw / Phil Beldone Episode: "Memos from Purgatory"
1969 The F.B.I. Eugene Episode "A Life in the Balance"
Get Smart Rupert of Rathskeller (uncredited) 2 episodes "To Sire, with Love: Parts 1 and 2"
1971 Brian's Song Brian Piccolo Television film
1996 NewsRadio James Caan / Himself Episode: "Movie Star"
1998 Poodle Springs Philip Marlowe Television film
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
2004 Crossing Jordan Episode: "What Happens in Vegas Dies in Boston""
The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "All's Fair in Oven War"
2010 Family Guy Episode: "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side"
Annoying Orange Jalepeño (voice) Web series
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Tony Archer Episode: "Lekio"
2013 Magic City Sy Berman 5 episodes
Back in the Game Terry "The Cannon" Gannon 13 episodes
2015 Wuthering High School Mr. Earnshaw Television film
2016 The American West Himself Episode 8: "The Last Vendetta"
JL Ranch Tap Peterson Television film
2020 JL Ranch: The Wedding Gift

Video games

Year Title Role
2006 The Godfather Sonny Corleone (voice)

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

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: James Caan para niños

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