Actor James Caan, who played ‘Sonny Corleone’ in ‘The Godfather’, dies


James Caan, who played Vito Corleone‘s untimely eldest son Sonny in «The Godfather» and the writer in the thriller «Misery«, has died at the age of 82, his family said Thursday.

«It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6» his family reported on the actor’s Twitter account.

«Jimmy was one of the greatest … I will miss him dearly«, Jimmy’s manager Matt Del Piano wrote in a statement to AFP.

Eternally linked to 1970s Hollywood, many will remember Caan for the dramatic death of his character, Sonny Corleone, riddled with bullets at a Long Island toll booth by Barzini’s men in one of the most famous scenes in «The Godfather».

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Among his most memorable performances was the 1971 TV movie «Brian’s Song«, in which he played athlete Brian Piccolo, diagnosed with cancer at the height of his success. Caan’s understated yet dramatic performance led critics to call the film one of the best of the year.

That same role convinced Coppola to cast him the following year in «The Godfather». For his portrayal of him in the first installment of «The Godfather» Caan received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

After convincing the world of his talent for celluloid, works such as «Rollerball» (1975), «A Bridge Too Far» (1977) and «Thief» (1981) arrived, about which he himself came to say that it was acting which he was most proud of.

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