MOVIE NEWS – Three icons of the Godfather trilogy paid tribute to James Caan after the 82-year-old man’s death. In the news, you will also find the 30 best films by James Caan.
James Caan passed away on June 6; upon the news of his death, many tributes came from the Oscar-nominated star’s peers, co-stars and friends. Among them were the trio of the “Godfather” family; Director Francis Ford Coppola and co-stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro shared their thoughts on Caan.
After working with Francis Ford Coppola in 1969’s The Rainmen, Caan worked with the director again in 1972 when he took on the role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. In a statement released by Deadline, Coppola remembered Caan as someone who had been there his whole life and who “will always be my old friend from Sunnyside.” Coppola’s complete statement read:
“Jimmy has been someone who has been in my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known. From our earlier collaborations on the set of Rainmen and through all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles, what he played will never be forgotten. He’ll always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my co-worker and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”
Caan was also remembered by Al Pacino, who starred in the entire Godfather trilogy, calling Caan his “imaginary brother and lifelong friend”. Although they also starred together in the 1990s comic book movie Dick Tracy, the pair had a much longer relationship off-screen than their short filmography together suggests. Pacino said:
“Jimmy was my fictional brother and lifelong friend. It’s hard to believe he will no longer be in the world because he was so alive and bold. A great actor, a brilliant director and a dear friend of mine. He will be missed.”
Although Caan didn’t make a cameo appearance until the end of The Godfather Part 2, Robert De Niro, who joined the trilogy in that film, also took the time to make a simple statement: “I was very, very saddened to learn of Jimmy’s passing.”
James Caan’s career spanned seven decades.
From his first uncredited screen role in 1963’s Irma la Douce, through films such as Funny Lady, A Bridge Too Far, Torture and Elf, to the 2021 romantic comedy Queen Bee, Caan has consistently been present in Hollywood, and it is clear how far-reaching his influence was. Tributes flooded social media from Billy Dee Williams, who played Caan in one of his first major roles, Brian’s Song in 1971, to Michael Mann, who directed him in 1981’s Thief, and a host of actors including Barbara Streisand, Adam Sandler, Jon Lovitz and Jennifer Tilly.
In addition to the personal tributes that came from those who once knew and worked with the actor, there were also the likes of director James Gunn and Ice T who simply wanted to share their admiration for one of cinema’s most significant. With so many classic films in his back catalogue, there will be plenty of generations to come who will continue to enjoy Caan’s film roles.