Hollywood icons are paying tribute to one of their own.
James Caan, the legendary actor who starred as Sonny Corleone in 1972’s The Godfather, died at the age of 82 on July 6. Following news of his passing, the actor received an outpouring of tributes from close friends and fellow actors, including his Godfather co-star Al Pacino.
“Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend,” Pacino said in statement to E! News. “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 loved him and I’m gonna miss him.”
Robert De Niro, who starred in The Godfather Part II (during which Caan reprised his role in a flashback scene), also told E! News that he was “very, very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.”
The late actor’s co-stars were among the numerous members of The Godfather family to pay their respects. Francis Ford Coppola—who in addition to serving as the director of The Godfather, was also a lifelong collaborator of Caan’s—gave a touching tribute to the actor.
“Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known,” Coppola said. “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 will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”
Actress Talia Shire, Coppola’s sister who also appeared in The Godfather Part II, shared that Caan was “a good man, a kind man, a family man, and a wildly gifted man—whose great talent will always be loved and remembered,” adding that her “prayers are with his family that he treasured so dearly.”
Caan’s career spanned over five decades, with the actor earning an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his role in the crime-drama.
Before his passing, Caan reportedly completed filming on his final movie, Fast Charlie, which is set for a 2023 release.