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James Caan

James Caan

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Also Known As: Jimmy Caan Died:
Born: March 26, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, director, camp counselor, rodeo competitor, waiter, bouncer, lifeguard

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite an up-and-down career that was mired by excess and irrational behavior, actor James Caan was a gifted performer who was as capable of pulling heart strings as he was of breaking someone's kneecaps. Caan emerged from the cauldron of New York City's thriving acting scene in the 1950s to become a noted player on the stage and on television. Though he graduated to films soon after his salad days in New York after swearing off television for the next several years, he had his first big breakthrough on the small screen, playing dying football player Brian Piccolo in "Brian's Song" (ABC, 1971). His performance in what was considered to be one of the best television movies ever made earned Caan considerable acclaim, as well as an Emmy Award nomination. But the following year put Caan on the map permanently, with his energetic portrayal of the hot-headed Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" (1972), a role with which he was forever identified - most notably in the numerous mobster roles he played in the ensuing decades. While he had several bright spots as a leading man throughout the years, including as a television regular on "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08) and as the victim of an obsessive fan in the...

Despite an up-and-down career that was mired by excess and irrational behavior, actor James Caan was a gifted performer who was as capable of pulling heart strings as he was of breaking someone's kneecaps. Caan emerged from the cauldron of New York City's thriving acting scene in the 1950s to become a noted player on the stage and on television. Though he graduated to films soon after his salad days in New York after swearing off television for the next several years, he had his first big breakthrough on the small screen, playing dying football player Brian Piccolo in "Brian's Song" (ABC, 1971). His performance in what was considered to be one of the best television movies ever made earned Caan considerable acclaim, as well as an Emmy Award nomination. But the following year put Caan on the map permanently, with his energetic portrayal of the hot-headed Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" (1972), a role with which he was forever identified - most notably in the numerous mobster roles he played in the ensuing decades. While he had several bright spots as a leading man throughout the years, including as a television regular on "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08) and as the victim of an obsessive fan in the disturbing film, "Misery" (1990), Caan settled into a niche as character actor more often than not, performing some variation of the mobster role that made him famous.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Hide In Plain Sight (1980) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Blood Ties (2014)
2.
 Outsider, The (2014)
3.
 Fighting Man, A (2014)
5.
 That's My Boy (2012)
6.
 Small Apartments (2012)
7.
 Detachment (2011)
8.
9.
 Henry's Crime (2011)
10.
 His Way (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1960:
Made his acting debut on the stage in "La Ronde" (billed as Jimmy Caan)
1961:
First Broadway play, "Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole"
1961:
Made TV episodic debut on "Naked City" (ABC)
1963:
First film appearance, played a bit part in "Irma la Douce"
1963:
Film acting debut, "Lady in a Cage"
1967:
Appeared in "El Dorado" with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum
1968:
Landed starring role in Robert Altman's second feature film "Countdown"
1969:
First screen collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, "The Rain People"
1971:
Won acclaim as dying football player Brian Piccolo in the ABC movie "Brian's Song"; earned Emmy nomination
1972:
Re-teamed with Coppola to play Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather"; garnered Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor
1973:
Co-starred with Marsha Mason for first time in "Cinderella Liberty"; also first film with director Mark Rydell
1974:
Earned praise for his leading role in "The Gambler"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
1975:
Played Billy Rose opposite Barbra Streisand in "Funny Lady"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
1979:
Played opposite Mason again in "Chapter Two"
1980:
Made his feature directing debut with "Hide in Plain Sight"; also starred
1981:
Played the title role of a professional safe cracker in Michael Mann's "Thief"
1987:
Returned to films after a five-year absence in Coppola's "Gardens of Stone"
1990:
Played Spuds Spaldoni in Warren Beatty's feature adaptation of the comic strip character "Dick Tracy"
1990:
Played writer Paul Sheldon opposite Kathy Bates as the obsessive fan in the thriller "Misery," based on the novel by Stephen King
1991:
Co-starred with Bette Midler in the Mark Rydell directed "For the Boys"
1992:
Garnered praise for his turn as a Las Vegas gambler in "Honeymoon in Vegas"
1993:
Co-starred as Dennis Quaid's father in "Flesh and Bone"
1996:
Played supporting role in "A Boy Called Hate"; first film opposite his son Scott Caan
1996:
Appeared in Wes Anderson's debut feature "Bottle Rocket"
1998:
Portrayed detective Philip Marlowe in the HBO movie "Poodle Springs," adapted from Raymond Chandler's unfinished novel
1999:
Cast as an Irish schoolteacher investigating his roots in "This Is My Father"
1999:
Cast as Hugh Grant's crime boss father-in-law in the comedy "Mickey Blue Eyes"
2000:
Portrayed a mob-connected NYC subway contractor in "The Yards"
2002:
Cast in lead role in the USA Network film "Hearts of Men"
2003:
Cast as Big Ed Deline, the head of the surveillance team for a Vegas casino on the NBC drama "Las Vegas"; left the show's after the fourth season
2003:
Played Will Ferrell's biological father in the comedy "Elf"
2003:
Appeared as The Big Man in Lars von Trier's "Dogville"
2008:
Cast as The President in the film adaptation of "Get Smart," based on the 1960s spy parody television series
2009:
Voiced Flint's father in the animated feature "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
2010:
Cast opposite his son Scott Caan in "Mercy"; film also written and produced by his son
2010:
Cast opposite Luke Wilson in the crime film "Middle Men"
2012:
Guest starred opposite his son Scott on the reboot of "Hawaii Five-0" (CBS)
2012:
Co-starred with Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg in "That's My Boy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Rhodes Rhodes Preparatory School: New York , New York -
Michigan State University: East Lansing , Michigan -
Hofstra University: Hempstead , New York -
Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre: New York , New York -

Notes

Caan has reached the level of senior student in the martial art of Gosoku-Ryu.

"You know he's got a temper and he thinks he's Italian." --Scott Caan about his father to Entertainment Weekly, June 28, 1996.

"Jimmy Caan is one of the best actors I know, and he's only gotten better." --director Mark Rydell Entertainment Weekly, June 28, 1996.

"People are always backing up when I'm just going to shake their hands. They always think, 'Here comes Sonny. Watch Out!" --James Caan to Entertainment Weekly, June 28, 1996

"I lost my passion for work. No, that's a negative statement. I just had a bigger passion for something else, for my son, and growing up with him. Shit, that's what life's about. It wasn't so negative. It was positive." --Caan quoted in Premiere, December 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
DeeJay Mathis. Dancer. Married 1961; divorced 1966.
wife:
Sheila Ryan. Model, actor. Married 1976; divorced.
companion:
Leesa Rowland. Together in the mid-1980s; sued Caan for mistreatment and won $84,000 verdict.
wife:
Ingrid Hajek. Married September 9, 1990; born c. 1961; Caan's third marriage; separated April 1995.
wife:
Linda Stokes. Married October 7, 1995; Caan's fourth wife; born c. 1956.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Arthur Caan. Meat dealer. Family name is said to be Dutch version of 'Kahn' or 'Cohen'.
mother:
Sophie Caan.
brother:
Ronald Caan. Producer.
sister:
Barbara Caan. Died of cancer in 1981; Caan was very close with her and her death is said to have devastated him.
daughter:
Tara Caan. Mother, DeeJay Mathis.
son:
Scott Caan. Actor, musician. Born c. 1976; mother Sheila Ryan; underwent kidney surgery c. 1978; arrested for assault in September 1998.
son:
Alexander James Caan. Born on April 10, 1991; mother, Ingrid Hajek.
son:
James Arthur Caan. Born on November 6, 1995, mother, Linda Stokes.
son:
Jacob Nicholas Caan. Born on Septmeber 24, 1998; mother, Linda Stokes.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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