Actor James Caan has died at 82 : NPR

James Caan on the set of the 1975 movie Rollerball.

John Downing/Getty Visuals

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James Caan on the set of the 1975 film Rollerball.

John Downing/Getty Images

James Edmund Caan was an athletic child from the Bronx, the son of German-Jewish immigrants who grew up to perform rough film men: sailors, football players, gangsters and was 1 of the most recognizable screen actors of his period.

He died on July 6, according to a post on his official Twitter account. No more facts had been readily available.

Ideal recognized for his explosive change as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and as a dying expert football participant in the designed-for-Television-movie Brian’s Track (which gained him Oscar and Emmy nominations, respectively), Caan lent an eminently watchable machismo to dozens of films and exhibits. In Distress, he was a well-known creator held captive by Kathy Bates. In Gardens of Stone, he was a heartsick Vietnam vet reluctantly guarding the Tomb of the Mysterious Soldier. In Elf, he performed in opposition to kind as a failing kid’s e-book publisher who is also the main character’s father.

Just after starting off in theater and television, Caan burst into Hollywood like a comet, showing up in films by some of the most renowned auteurs of the era, together with Howard Hawks (El Dorado), Robert Altman (Countdown) and Francis Ford Coppola (The Rain Persons). His burst of early achievement led to a time period of problems, the two personal and skilled. Caan married and divorced numerous instances, got into on-established arguments and publicly struggled with substance abuse and depression.

He turned down many movies that would verify to be pivotal for other actors, which include Kramer vs. Kramer, Apocalypse Now, M*A*S*H and Just one Flew More than the Cuckoo’s Nest, deciding upon assignments in its place that grew to become flops.

“There are photos I built that I however haven’t viewed,” he informed The New York Periods in 1991. “I was frustrated when I was producing them. In the center of some of these shots, I held considering, ‘What am I executing below?’ It’s like you are in a hallway and you can’t get out.”

Distress served switch issues all around. The previous athlete spent substantially of the 1990 film tied to a bed. Caan also anchored the movie emotionally. His actorly selection was huge he carried out in track-and-dance movies these as Humorous Girl and For The Boys but also in darkish, severe movies this kind of as Dogville by Danish auteur Lars von Trier.

Caan labored steadily up till the conclude of his lifestyle, taking part in grandparents, colonels and inevitably, himself, in animated appearances on Relatives Man and The Simpsons.

Eleanore Beatty

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