Legendary ‘The Godfather’ Star James Caan Is Dead At 82

James Caan, the Oscar-nominated actor best known for his role as hot-head Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, as well as roles in Thief and Elf, has died at 82 years old, his family announced on Twitter. “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,” the tweet reads, followed by Caan’s customary sign-off: “End of tweet.”

Caan made his on-screen debut in 1961 for an episode of Naked City. He landed his first leading role in 1965’s Red Line 7000 before getting his big break in 1970’s Brian’s Song, the made-for-TV movie about Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers that’s been known to make even the most stereotypically macho dads weep. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfatheryou might have heard of it — came two years later, followed by The Gambler, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe; a cameo in The Godfather Part II; Funny Lady, which earned him another Golden Globe; and Michael Mann’s neo-noir classic Thief. (Thief rules. You should watch it tonight.)

Caan’s “personal and professional life crumbled in the 1980s,” as the New York Times put it in a 1990 article, but he had a career rebirth in the 1990s and 2000s with roles in Dick Tracy, Bottle Rocket, Dogville, and Elf. His final film released before his death was 2021’s Queen Bees.

Caan was an incredible actor, but let’s not overlook his equally amazing work on Twitter: