James Caan

Article

August 19, 2022

James Edmund Caan (New York, March 26, 1940 - Los Angeles, July 6, 2022) was an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Don Vito Corleone's angry and violent eldest son, in the film The Godfather (1972) directed by Francis Ford Coppola, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has also appeared in several blockbuster films, including Doringo! (1965), El Dorado (1966), Countdown (1968), I'm Not Coming Home Tonight (1969), Brian's Song (1971), $ 40,000 Not to Die (1974), Funny Lady (1975), Rollerball (1975), That Last Bridge (1977), Violent Roads (1981), Misery Must Not Die (1990), Glory Days ... Days of Love (1991), Provincial Murders (1993), The Eliminator - Eraser (1996), Marlowe - Murder in Poodle Springs (1998) and Dogville (2003). Between 2003 and 2007 he played the lead "Big Ed" Deline in the television series Las Vegas. In addition to the aforementioned nominations for The Godfather, he received three more at the Golden Globe for Doringo !, 40,000 dollars for not dying and Funny Lady, two Emmys for Brian's Song and Rebel Youth. In 1976 he won a Saturn Award for his performance in Rollerball and was nominated in 1992 for Misery Must Not Die.

Biography

Caan was born in the Bronx, borough of New York, one of the three children of Arthur Caan, owner of a butcher, and of Sophie Falkenstein, both Jewish immigrants from Germany. He had a brother, Ronnie, and a sister, Barbara (who died of leukemia in 1981). Raised in Sunnyside, a borough of Queens, he attended schools in his own neighborhood and, after having attended courses for the Michigan State University for a short period, he enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead (in the state of New York), which, however, he then stops attending. Among his fellow students at the time were Francis Ford Coppola and Lainie Kazan.During his university stay in Hempstead, Caan discovered acting, thus deciding to abandon his studies to devote himself to those in dramatic art. Joining the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater, he studied there for five years under the supervision of its founder and director, Sanford Meisner, the creator of the Meisner Technique. He begins acting for television in series such as The Untouchables (1962). His first noteworthy performance in a film is that of a menacing criminal in the thriller A Day of Terror (1964). In 1966 he appeared in El Dorado with John Wayne. He gains early recognition for his portrayal of a football player who suffered brain damage in Francis Ford Coppola's I'm Not Coming Home Tonight (1969). Even more popular is his portrayal of the dying football player Brian Piccolo in the TV movie Brian's Song (1970). The following year Coppola called him for The Godfather (1971), in the role of Santino "Sonny" Corleone, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His excellent interpretation of Sonny leads many to mistakenly believe that Caan is of Italian descent and also receives awards as Italian of the year. From 1973 to 1982 he appears in many Hollywood films and plays various roles without fossilizing in that of the mafia made famous. His films include A Big $ 50 Love (1973), A Strange Couple of Cops (1974), $ 40,000 Not to Die (1974), Killer Elite (1975), paired with Robert Duvall, Rollerball ( 1975), Balordi & Co. - Company for shady shares capital entirely stolen $ 1,000,000 (1976), That last bridge (1977), Comes a wild and free knight (1978) and Chapter two (1979), adaptation of a comedy by Neil Simon. In 1978 he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fam