James Caan Mourned by Hollywood Co-Stars, Friends: ‘Genuine Megawatt Movie Star’

Andy Richter, Edgar Wright, Cary Elwes and more remembered the late actor, who died at 82

James Caan in "The Gambler" (Paramount/Getty Images)
James Caan in "The Gambler" (Paramount/Getty Images)

The entertainment industry is remembering the late James Caan, whose death at 82 was announced Thursday morning by his family.

Across his lengthy career, Caan played many memorable roles, including Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather” and Brian Piccolo in “Brian’s Song.” He was mourned by his peers as the Hollywood community learned of his death.

Director Spike Lee tweeted “DAMN. We Lost Another Great- @James_Caan. Many Know Jimmy from THE GODFATHER But Please Check Out “Da Work” He Did in THIEF Directed By Michael Mann. Rest in Paradise.”

“RIP a genuine megawatt movie star,” filmmaker Edgar Wright tweeted.

Adam Sandler also remembered Caan, writing, “Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were the best of the best.”

“What a terrible and tragic loss. Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times,” “Thief” director Michael Mann wrote in a statement on Caan’s death shared with TheWrap. “There was a core of values within him about how people should be, more or less. It might be variable, the corners could be rounded with urban irony, but there was a line and it was non-fungible. And it produced many outrageous and hilarious anecdotes.” 

“I loved him and I loved working with him,” Mann’s statement continues. “He reached into the core of his being during difficult personal times to be the rebellious, half wild child, institutionalized outsider Frank, in my first film, Thief. Frank is half Frank, half Jimmy.  The character and the man – like his Sonny in The Godfather – were made for each other. Unique. What a loss.” 

Andy Richter, who starred alongside Caan’s Walter Hobbs in “Elf,” wrote about his experience working with the actor.

“RIP James Caan. Shocked,” Richter tweeted. “Was lucky enough after a lifetime of loving his work, to get to work with him and I loved him as a person even more. Funny warm self-deprecating, and effortlessly talented.”

“They say never meet your heroes, but he proved that to be very very wrong,” Richter continued.

“Princess Bride” actor Cary Elwes expressed condolences on Twitter, including to James Caan’s son, Scott Caan, writing “Legend… Rest in Power, Jimmy. Our condolences to Scotty and his family.”

Jon Lovitz wrote, “Well, this just sucks about James Caan. I was lucky enough to work with him & be friends. Always a fun guy to be around.”

“Goodbye James Caan,” director Scott Derickson wrote on Twitter. “The passing of a legend.”

“A great actor has left us,” actor Antonio Banderas wrote. “Deepest condolences to all of his family and loved ones. RIP @James_Caan

“Jesus, I loved James Caan,” wrote actor Jon Donahue on Twitter. “Such an incredible, brilliant actor. I’ll miss seeing him in the movies.”

Here are more tributes from the Hollywood community: