He played one of the Corleone sons in the epic “The Godfather” and a serialized writer in the tragic “Misery”: American actor James Caan died at the age of 82 after a long career of acting for the greatest directors.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Jimmy passed away on the evening of July 6th (Wednesday),” his family said in a tweet posted on Khan’s account. Its manager, Matt DelPiano, confirmed the news to AFP.
Born in 1940 in the Bronx, New York, to Jewish immigrants from Germany, James Caan began his career in Hollywood in the 1960s in small roles, most notably in “Irma La Douce” by Billy Wilder (1963). , or « People in the rain », Francis Ford Coppola (1969).
Three years later, the great American director gave him one of his most famous roles, in the first part of the trilogy “The Godfather”, an epic story about the Italian-American mafia, which will mark the history of cinema. And celebrated its 50th anniversary. year.
James Caan plays Sonny Corleone, the eldest son of “Don” Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), and his brutal assassination by bullets at a toll booth becomes one of the film’s most iconic moments. The role earned him an Oscar nomination.
“I still think if I’d had the change that day, I might have been a lot richer,” he joked years later, referring to his death while waiting for his change. “If I had known they were going to make ‘The Godfather 2’ (in which he played a small role in a flashback), I would have refused to die,” he quipped, judging the film to be a “blessing”. “To him.
“Jimmy has been a part of my life longer and closer than any other movie personality I’ve ever known,” Francis Ford Coppola said in a statement to AFP, calling him “an old friend and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Always know.”
Echoing this role in “The Godfather,” James Caan was first called to testify in a mafia trial in New York in 1985 because he belonged to one of the defendants, the Colombo family. , in his childhood. Later, he testified, at another trial, still in New York, in 1992, that he presented himself as the best friend of a reputed member of the Bonanno Mafia family, still in the dock.
After “The Godfather”, his career continued with classic films such as “Rollerball” (1975), named after this violent game in a futuristic society, or “The Solider” (1981) by Michael Mann.
Another of his best roles came in “Misery” (1990), a tough-cam adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. He expertly portrays writer Paul Sheldon, who is kidnapped in the Colorado mountains by an evil admirer played by Kathy Bates.
New York actor and screenwriter Adam Sandler tweeted, “His movies are the best.” “I loved him so much. I always wanted to be like him. I’m so happy to know him. I never stopped smiling when I was with this man,” she added.
He has appeared in dozens of films over six decades, including James Gray’s “The Yards” (2000), Matt Dillon’s “City of Ghosts” (2002), or voiced in “Tempest of Meatballs Giantes.” 2009), James Caan was married four times and had five children.
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