Earlier today, the world was saddened by the announcement that iconic actor James Caan had died at the age of 82. Fans almost immediately started posting tributes on social media to the man known for, among many projects, The Godfather and Misery. Adam Sandler and more reacted to the news, there are stories attesting to Caan’s generosity as a performer and as a human being.
Having worked with the actor on both 1998’s Bulletproof and 2012’s That’s My Boy, Adam Sandler shared his memories on Twitter. Paying tribute to his co-star, Sandler posted a sweet message along with a vintage photo of James Caan:
James Caan’s legacy wasn’t only limited to his performances, as he was apparently quite the raconteur. Chucky star Jennifer Tilly shared a story she’d heard from her Jericho Mansions co-star about a bit of prank he’d pulled on The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. Tilly’s Tweet says:
Even in a voice role like Tim Lockwood in the animated comedy/streaming favorite Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, there was room for James Caan to give his collaborators a story they’d remember forever. Co-writer/director Chris Miller Tweeted about that experience by way of sharing this memory of Caan as an acting talent:
Another one of James Caan’s most memorable roles comes from the legendary film adaptation of Misery, the Stephen King novel. Collaborating with co-star Kathy Bates and director Rob Reiner on that thriller masterpiece, both took to Twitter to remember their friend with the following messages:
Kathy Bates: I’m heartbroken to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Shocked. No words. Thank you, Jimmy. Love you, your ‘Kat’
Rob Reiner: So sorry to hear the news. I loved working with him. And the only Jew I knew who could calf rope with the best of them. Love to the family.
A legend in his own right, action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger Tweeted his own remembrance as well. Working with James Caan in Eraser, a project that could be counted among Schwarzenegger’s best movies, Arnold even highlighted Caan’s prowess at the gym in his tribute:
In director Michael Mann’s feature debut Thief, James Caan’s role as safe cracker Frank helped cement the Miami Vice creator as a film legend. It would further inform his experience making Heat, which is still regarded as the best movie about bank robbing. That experience was a valuable one for Mann, and in a statement he issued personally, he reflected on the results:
Wrapping the tributes to James Caan are the remarks of the friends and co-stars he made during his work on The Godfather. As Francis Ford Coppola issued a statement through Deadline, co-stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro did so as well through that same publication. Their remarks are combined below, in a fitting nod to Caan's work on this American classic:
Francis Ford Coppola: Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known. From those earlier times working together on The Rain People, and throughout all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten. He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.
Al Pacino: Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend. It’s hard to believe that he won’t be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I’m gonna miss him.
Robert De Niro: I’m very very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.
This is only a sampling of how James Caan's legacy is being remembered today, through the words of his peers and his fans. As time goes on, only more will be available to peruse, further highlighting his contribution to cinema. Our sincerest condolences go out to Caan's friends and family, in this emotional time.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.