James Caan's Death Attributed to Heart Problems

Hollywood veteran was 82
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2022 12:53 PM CDT
Updated Jul 23, 2022 2:25 PM CDT
Godfather Actor James Caan Is Dead
Actor James Caan poses for a portrait to promote the film "Henry's Crime" at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.   (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)

Update: Los Angeles County health officials attributed James Caan's death earlier this month to a heart attack, listing a series of cardiac problems as contributing factors. A death certificate says the actor suffered from coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure, TMZ reports. Caan was buried in Eden Memorial Park, the document says. Our original story from July 7 follows:

RIP Sonny Corleone. James Caan, the actor who brought that volatile character to life in The Godfather, has died at age 82, reports Page Six. "It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6," reads a tweet on the actor's account. "The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time." No cause of death was provided.

Caan may be best known for his tough-guy persona, especially through Corleone, but over his six-decade career he proved himself to be, "beyond his macho exterior, a versatile performer of wry expressiveness and unexpected vulnerability," per the Washington Post. Misery, El Dorado, Elf, Roller Ball, Thief, A Bridge Too Far, Bottle Rocket, and TV's Brian Song represents just a sampling of his extensive list of credits. He received a 1973 Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Corleone and a 1972 Emmy nomination for Brian's Song, notes NPR. The Post notes that Caan, who was raised in the Bronx, was the son of a butcher who fled Nazi Germany. (Read more obituary stories.)

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