'Godfather' actor James Caan dead at 82

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(NEXSTAR) – Oscar and Emmy-nominated James Caan has died, according to a post from his family on his official Twitter page.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6,” the tweet reads. “The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Caan is perhaps best known for his in “The Godfather,” in which he played the violent and reckless Santino “Sonny” Corleone. He also had a brief cameo in the sequel “The Godfather, Part II.”

Caan was already a star on television, breaking through in the 1971 TV movie “Brian’s Song,” an emotional drama about Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo, who had died of cancer the year before at age 26.

After “Brian’s Song” and “The Godfather,” he was one of Hollywood’s busiest actors, appearing in “Hide in Plain Sight” (which he also directed), “Funny Lady” (opposite Barbra Streisand), “The Killer Elite” and Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two,” among others.

Younger audiences may know him from his part as Walter in the Christmas comedy “Elf.”

He managed a long career despite drug problems, outbursts of temper and minor brushes with the law.

“Jimmy was one of the greatest. Not only was he one of the best actors our business has ever seen, he was funny, loyal, caring and beloved,” Caan’s manager Matt DelPiano said. “Our relationship was always friendship before business. I will miss him dearly and am proud to have worked with him all these years.”

Married and divorced four times, Caan had a daughter, Tara, and sons Scott, Alexander, James and Jacob.

Caan was 82. No cause of death was given.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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