On Wednesday, July 6, actor James Caan passed away at the age of 82.
His family announced the news on Twitter on Thursday afternoon in a brief message posted to his Twitter account.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.
The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.
End of tweet
— James Caan (@James_Caan) July 7, 2022
The tweet read: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6. The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
One of James Caan’s best-known roles was in the 1990 film “Misery,” based on the book by Stephen King and directed by Rob Reiner. Caan starred as Paul Sheldon, an author who is taken hostage by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes, played by Kathy Bates. The movie has become a horror movie staple and many fans took to social media to express condolences for the late star’s passing.
King, Reiner, and Bates also took to social media to pay their own respects to the late Hollywood star.
Stephen King Praises James Caan’s ‘Oscar-Worthy Performance’ In ‘Misery’
Very sorry to hear about the passing of James Caan, who gave an Oscar-worthy performance as Paul Sheldon in Rob Reiner’s exceptional film version of MISERY.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 8, 2022
“The Shining” author posted a simple tweet on Friday, reading, “Very sorry to hear about the passing of James Caan, who gave an Oscar-worthy performance as Paul Sheldon in Rob Reiner’s exceptional film version of MISERY.”
Caan had been nominated for several awards, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Academy Award. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 for his role in his many contributions to film and television.
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.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) July 7, 2022
Director Rob Reiner tweeted, “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.”
In a separate statement to Entertainment Weekly, Reiner added, “Jimmy was a natural. A great instinctive actor loaded with talent and presence. His chemistry with Kathy Bates brought Misery to life. More importantly, he was the only Jew I knew who could rope a calf with best of them. The film world has suffered a big loss.”
I’m heartbroken to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Shocked. No words. Thank you, Jimmy. Love you, your ‘Kat’ @James_Caan
— Kathy Bates (@MsKathyBates) July 7, 2022
Kathy Bates, who did win an Oscar for her role in “Misery,” tweeted, “I’m heartbroken to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Shocked. No words. Thank you, Jimmy. Love you, your ‘Kat’ @James_Caan.”
In a separate statement also shared by Entertainment Weekly, the Academy Award-winning added, “I can’t believe Jimmy’s gone. Working with him on Misery was one of the most profound experiences of my career. When you watch his performance, his terror, it’s as though he’s watching a snake. Brilliant. So many memories are flooding back today. Jimmy saying, ‘Let’s get the most hyper guy in Hollywood and make him stay in bed for 15 weeks!’ We were so excited when we got to shoot in the dining room. He was kind. Hilarious. He would have something insightfully funny to say right now. I’m bereft. Sending all my love to the Caan family.”
Francis Ford Coppola & ‘The Godfather’ Cast Pay Their Respects
Born in the Bronx, James Caan attended Michigan State before he left to study at Hofstra University. Although he did not graduate and left to pursue his acting career in New York City, he was once a classmate of director Francis Ford Coppola.
The two would later collaborate on four films together and were scheduled to collaborate on a fifth before his sudden passing. On Thursday, the esteemed director released a statement to mourn the loss of his longtime friend. In a statement provided to Deadline, Coppola said, “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 continued. “He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator, and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”
Coppola first directed Caan in 1969’s “The Rain People.” Three years later, they made history with “The Godfather.” Caan later reprised his role as Sonny Corleone and was nominated for, but never won, an Academy Award for the part.
Caan was also set to star in Coppola’s dream project, “Megalopolis,” which has already attracted a star-studded cast. It would have marked their fifth collaboration together.
Costars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro also released statements to Deadline regarding his passing.
“Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend,” Pacino said. “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.”
De Niro said, “I’m very very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.”
Even more celebrities have expressed condolences for the passing of legendary actor James Caan. Those can be read here.