We saw it in The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola (1972) who revealed it, rollerball, by Norman Jewison (1975), elite killer, by Sam Peckinpah (1975) or in Blood Tiesby Guillaume Canet (2013).
James Caan, one of the emblematic faces of the “New Hollywood” – American film movement from the late 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s – died on Wednesday July 6, his family announced on his account Twitter official. He was 82 years old.
James Caan was born March 26, 1940, in the Bronx, and grew up in Queens, New York, in a Jewish family of German descent. His first physical education was transporting beef carcasses at 5 a.m. for his father, who worked in the wholesale meat market. Young James Caan lives on the streets, plays gang leaders. Sport allows him not to become a professional thug. “I became an actor after having tried everything else, basketball, football, street fighting, lifeguard on the beaches, sports director in a summer camp… It was there that I discovered the perverse pleasures of the comedy “he told the World in 1988.
Related to Francis Ford Coppola
Married with one child, he escaped the Vietnam War. His first major role was in Lady in a Cage (1964) in which he and his gang torment an invalid Olivia de Havilland trapped in an elevator.
But it is above all Francis Ford Coppola who reveals it to the general public. In 1968, they met on the set of rain people. Years later, when Coppola turns Secret Conversations (with Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall), Caan sneaks onto the set, puts on a mustache and slips through the extras. For Coppola, he will be Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He reprized the role in The Godfather II (1974).
He plays in two films by Claude Lelouch: Another man, another chance (1977) and One and the other (nineteen eighty one). For one of his other great roles, in Misery (1990), adapted from Stephen King’s book, he played a writer kidnapped by an evil woman played by Kathy Bates.
Just like Coppola, Caan made films he perhaps shouldn’t have made. He also refuses films that would have served his career well: Superman, Kramer vs. Kramer, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.