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James Caan Remembered By The Godfather’s Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro



The Godfather Al James

The news of the death of James Caan has led to many tributes being paid by peers, co-stars and friends of the Oscar-nominated star. Among them were a trio of messages from his “Godfather” family; director Francis Ford Coppola and co-stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, who shared their thoughts on Caan.

Having worked with Francis Ford Coppola on 1969’s The Rain People, Caan worked with the director again when he took on the role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather in 1972. In a statement published by Deadline, Coppola remembered Caan as someone who had been there throughout his whole life and someone who “will always be my old friend from Sunnyside.” Coppola’s full statement read:

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Caan was also remembered by Al Pacino, who appeared in the entire Godfather trilogy and called Caan his “fictional brother and lifelong friend.” While they also appeared together in the 1990s comic book movie Dick Tracy, the pair had a much longer relationship off screen than their short shared filmography suggests. Pacino said:

While Caan only made a cameo appearance at the end of The Godfather Part II, Robert De Niro, who joined the trilogy in that movie, also took the time to offer his simple statement of, “I’m very very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.”

Related: James Caan, The Godfather and Misery Star, Dies at 82

From his first uncredited screen role in Irma la Douce in 1963, through movies like Funny Lady, A Bridge Too Far, Misery, and Elf to the 2021 romantic comedy Queen Bees, Caan has been a constant presence in Hollywood, and it has been clear how far his influence has spread. Tributes have flooded social media from Billy Dee Williams, who starred with Caan in one of his first big roles in Brian’s Song back 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.

As well as personal tributes from those who knew and worked with the actor at one time or another, there were others such as director James Gunn and Ice T, who simply wanted to share their admiration for one of cinema’s greats. With a wealth of classic movies in his back catalog, there will be plenty of generations to come who will continue to enjoy Caan’s film roles. You can see more of the tributes paid to the actor below.