James Caan’s most iconic roles following legendary actor’s death aged 82 – from The Godfather and Misery to Thief and Elf
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 07
James Caan’s acting career spanned several decades and included some truly iconic roles (Picture: Invision/AFP)

Legendary actor James Caan has, it was confirmed in a statement.

The American star’s career spanned over several decades, with .

‘It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6,’ the statement began.

‘The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.’

Caan’s CV boasts a range of iconic roles, dating back to the 1960s and continuing into 2021. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on some of his most famous performances…

El Dorado – 1967

El Dorado was one of Caan’s first films (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

Caan took on the role of Alan Bourdillon Traherne – otherwise known as Mississippi – in the 1967 Western, El Dorado.

The film tells the story of Cole Thornton, a gunfighter who comes to the aid of an old friend who is a drunken sheriff struggling to defend a rancher and his family against another rancher trying to steal their water.

He starred alongside the likes of Charlene Holt, Paul Fix, Arthur Hunnicutt, Michele Carey, R. G. Armstrong, and Ed Asne in what was one of his first film roles.

The Godfather – 1972

The Godfather remains one of Caan’s most famous movies (Picture: Getty)

The Godfather is arguably Caan’s most iconic film role.

He played the volatile Santino ‘Sonny’ Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic portrait of organised crime, a role he briefly reprised two years later for a flashback scene in The Godfather: Part II.

Caan received his first and only Oscar nomination for the Francis Ford Coppola directed film and he was known for being a prankster on set.

The actor also participated in EA’s The Godfather: The Game.

Caan said he was ‘very proud’ of The Godfather (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

During The Godfather’s 50th anniversary celebrations earlier this year, Caan said he was ‘happy’ that film fans can have ‘something they can remember me by.’

He said ‘it feels great’ to have been part of a movie that so many people love and still talk about to this day, adding that he’s ‘very proud of it.’

Speaking to , he said: ‘I’m very proud of it, and I’m very proud of Francis. The cast was great. And that just added to my one big thing about making a good movie. If you get people together that like one another and genuinely like each other and have a good time, invariably the movie is good and better’

The Gambler – 1974

He played a professor with a gambling addiction in The Gambler (Picture: Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

The Gambler was loosely based Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1866 novel, telling the story of a literature professor who has a gambling addiction.

Caan is said to have clashed with director Karel Reisz while filming, but he still branded it one of his favourite films.

The drama was remade in 2014, this time with Mark Wahlberg in the lead role.

Thief – 1981

Caan wowed audiences with his thrilling performance in Thief (Picture: United Artists/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Caan played protagonist Frank in 1981 film Thief, a film about a sKi**ed safe cracker who wants to accomplish one last big heist before getting on the straight and narrow and settling down with his girlfriend.

The film also starred Tuesday Weld, Jim Belushi, Robert Prosky, Willie Nelson, and Dennis Farina.

Caan has said that, alongside The Godfather, Thief was the project he was most proud of.

Misery – 1990

Kathy Bates starred alongside Caan in Misery (Picture: Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

In 1990, Caan starred in Misery, a film about a best-selling novelist who gets into a car accident on his a way home before being rescued by a fan – before finding out that she is holding him prisoner.

Caan played writer Paul Sheldon with Kathy Bates as ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes in the horror/thriller, based on Stephen King’s 1987 novel of the same name.

The film grossed an impressive $61million domestically and has gone on to become one of Caan’s most known performances.

Mickey Blue Eyes – 1999

Hugh Grant joked that Caan fell in love with him on set of Mickey Blue Eyes (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Caan starred alongside none other than Hugh Grant in this 90s classic.

He played Frank Vitale, whose daughter (Jeanne Tripplehorn) gets engaged to a British auctioneer (Hugh), and let’s just say he wasn’t best pleased about it.

Speaking later on about working with Caan, the Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary actor said he ‘got on very well’ with Caan.

‘My theory is that he fell slightly in love with me,’ he sweetly said.

Elf – 2003

Elf has cemented itself as a Christmas classic (Picture: Warner Bros)

Elf is up there with many people’s favourite Christmas films and it’ll be even more special to watch each year now.

A far cry from his real life character, Caan played Walter Hobbs, the father of Buddy (Will Ferrell) and only cared about himself and making money.

The film follows human Buddy after he is raised by elves in the North Pole, and discovers later in life that he himself is not an elf at all.

As he ventures to New York in search of his biological father, chaos ensues and it’s a delight to watch.

The Good Neighbour – 2016

The Good Neighbour was one of Caan’s most recent roles (Picture: Vertical Entertainment)

Thriller/drama the Good Neighbour was one of Caan’s more recent films, in which he worked alongside Logan Miller, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Reinhart, and Laura Innes.

The film follows a pair of mischievous high school kids who create the illusion of a haunting on their unsuspecting neighbour – played by Caan.

But, while watching his every move, the pair see much more than they bargained for, and discover that the man they’re tormenting is not the easy target they thought he was going to be.