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James Caan

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A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York-born and bred. He was born in the Bronx, to Sophie (Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan, Jewish immigrants from Germany. His father was a meat dealer and butcher. The athletically gifted Caan played football at Michigan State University while studying economics, holds a black belt in karate and for several years was even a regular on the rodeo circuit, where he was nicknamed "The Jewish Cowboy". However, while studying at Hofstra University, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed and accepted at Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse. He then won a scholarship to study under acting coach Wynn Handman and began to appear in several off-Broadway productions, including "I Roam" and "Mandingo". He made his screen debut as a sailor in Irma la Douce (1963) and began to impress audiences with his work in Red Line 7000 (1965) and the western El Dorado (1967) alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Further work followed in Journey to Shiloh (1968) and in the sensitive The Rain People (1969). However, audiences were moved to tears as he put in a heart-rending performance as cancer-stricken Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo in the highly rated made-for-TV film Brian's Song (1971). With these strong performances under his belt, Francis Ford Coppola then cast him as hot-tempered gangster Santino "Sonny" Corleone in the Mafia epic The Godfather (1972). The film was an enormous success, Caan scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination and, in the years since, the role has proven to be the one most fondly remembered by his legion of fans. He reprised the role for several flashback scenes in the sequel The Godfather: Part II (1974) and then moved on to several very diverse projects. These included a cop-buddy crime partnership with Alan Arkin in the uneven Freebie and the Bean (1974), a superb performance as a man playing for his life in The Gambler (1974) alongside Lauren Hutton, and pairing with Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady (1975). Two further strong lead roles came up for him in 1975, first as futuristic sports star "Jonathon E" questioning the moral fiber of a sterile society in Rollerball (1975) and teaming up with Robert Duvall in the Sam Peckinpah spy thriller The Killer Elite (1975). Unfortunately, Caan's rising star sputtered badly at this stage of his career, and several film projects failed to find fire with either critics or audiences. These included such failures as the hokey Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976), the quasi-western Comes a Horseman (1978) and the saccharine Chapter Two (1979). However, he did score again with the stylish Michael Mann-directed heist movie Thief (1981). He followed this with a supernatural romantic comedy titled Kiss Me Goodbye (1982) and then, due to personal conflicts, dropped out of the spotlight for several years before returning with a stellar performance under old friend Francis Ford Coppola in the moving Gardens of Stone (1987). Caan appeared back in favor with fans and critics alike and raised his visibility with the sci-fi hit Alien Nation (1988) and Dick Tracy (1990), then surprised everyone by playing a meek romance novelist held captive after a car accident by a deranged fan in the dynamic Misery (1990). The 1990s were kind to him and he notched up roles as a band leader in For the Boys (1991), another gangster in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), appeared in the indie hit Bottle Rocket (1996) and pursued Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser (1996). The demand on Caan's talents seems to have increased steadily over the past few years as he is making himself known to a new generation of fans. Recent hot onscreen roles have included The Yards (2000), City of Ghosts (2002) and Dogville (2003). In addition, he finds himself at the helm of the hit TV series Las Vegas (2003) as casino security chief "Big Ed" Deline. An actor of undeniably manly appeal, James Caan continues to surprise and delight audiences with his invigorating performances.  See full bio on IMDb »

Dean Cain Goes to Bat for James Caan and Defends Morgan Freeman

Dean Cain
Goes to Bat for James Caan ... Defends Morgan Freeman

Dean Cain seems to agree with his friend James Caan that the world's a strange place right now regarding how men and women interact ... and also shares his support of Morgan Freeman. We got the… READ MORE >

James Caan Says We're in Strange Place Where Men Can't Hit on Women

James Caan
We're in a Strange Place Men Can't Hit on Women Anymore

James Caan says society is in a strange place ... because it's nature's way that men and women are supposed to be attracted to each other. We got the movie legend Thursday night in WeHo leaving… READ MORE >

- 305 days ago
James Caan Jokes About Shaun White, Who Didn't He Sexually Harass? (Except Me)

James Caan
Jokes About Shaun White Who Didn't He Sexually Harass? (Except Me)

James Caan doesn't seem too shocked about the Shaun White sexual harassment case -- telling TMZ Sports, "Everybody had sexual harassment. How the f*ck do you think we repopulated?!"  Caan… READ MORE >

- 404 days ago
'The Godfather' Cast Reunites at Tribeca Film Festival (PHOTO GALLERY + VIDEO)

'Godfather' Cast & Crew
The Family Reunites ... Don Corleone Insisted

Robert De Niro made his team at Tribeca an offer they couldn't refuse ... him, Al Pacino and the rest of "The Godfather" cast and crew on one stage together again. Bob, Al, Robert Duvall, James… READ MORE >

- 695 days ago
James Caan's Divorce Tab, More Than $400k Going Out

James Caan Divorce
He Pays $400k Now, More Later ... That's a Lot o' Cannolis!

The numbers are in for James Caan's divorce, and he's forking over a hefty check to his ex-wife to square up their assets.  According to docs, obtained by TMZ, James will give Linda… READ MORE >

- 830 days ago
James Caan's Estranged Wife -- What the Elf?!! -- You Make a Fortune, and I Want Some

James Caan's Estranged Wife
What the Elf?!!! You Make a Fortune, and I Want Some

James Caan's wife is asking for more money in the child support department because she says her 75-year-old estranged husband is still rolling in the dough. As we reported, James has put his foot… READ MORE >

- 1175 days ago
James Caan -- My Estranged Wife is Ruining My Career

James Caan
My Estranged Wife's Ruining My Career

James Caan says his estranged wife is hammering him for money to the point he has to take crappy roles just to make enough money to feed the beast. Caan just filed legal docs in his divorce case,… READ MORE >

- 1177 days ago
James Caan -- Out Of Misery, Back to Work (PHOTO)

James Caan
Out Of Misery ... And Back On Set

James Caan wasted no time ... less than 48 hours after he went to an emergency room, he was back at work, and smiling with his co-star Louis Gossett Jr.  TMZ broke the story ... the… READ MORE >

- 1272 days ago
James Caan -- Hospitalized in Toronto For Chest Infection

James Caan
Hospitalized in Toronto For Chest Infection

James Caan checked into a Toronto hospital after suffering from a chest infection. We're told the 75-year-old actor, who's in town filming "Operation Insanity" with Paul Sorvino, was… READ MORE >

- 1273 days ago
James Caan Divorce -- Not Without My Kid and Some Cash ... Wife Responds

James Caan Divorce
Not Without My Kid and Some Cash ... Wife Responds

James Caan's estranged wife is firing back in divorce papers, and her message is clear -- our son's coming with me, Sonny!Linda Caan filed her response to "The Godfather" star's divorce petition… READ MORE >

- 1519 days ago
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