Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Film

James Caan cause of death has now been confirmed

The cause of death of recently passed Godfather actor James Caan has been revealed following an autopsy. 

The American actor, who also starred in Elf and Misery, among others, died of a heart attack and coronary artery disease, as the death certificate via Deadline has now confirmed.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6,” the tweet announcing Caan’s death read. “The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

A number of actors who made their fame and fortune portraying mobsters onscreen have tragically died this year. The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico passed away at the age of 79 earlier this month, while it was announced on Monday night that Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino died at 83. At the end of May, Goodfellas star Ray Liotta also passed away, aged just 67, in his sleep.

“Ray Liotta, James Caan and now Paul Sorvino, we can be pretty sure there’s a badass Goodfellas/Godfather mashup movie being made in Heaven right now!” Diane Warren tweeted, paying her respects on Twitter.

“Paul Sorvino. Tony Sirico. James Caan. Ray Liotta. Somebody please find Joe Pesci and coat him in bubble wrap ASAP,” Dillon Davis added.

In 1972, Caan starred in his most iconic role as the hotheaded eldest brother of the Corleone family, Sonny. Caan was originally cast as middle brother Michael Corleone, but when Coppola insisted that Al Pacino play the role, Caan was cast as Sonny instead, beating out potential actors including Anthony Perkins and Robert De Niro. Caan would later reprise his role in a cameo for The Godfather Part II.

Caan’s performance as Sonny remained his most recognised role, landing him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor along with co-stars Pacino and Robert Duvall.

The actor continued to land high-profile film roles: for his roles in 1974’s The Gambler and 1975’s Funny Lady, Caan was nominated for Golden Globe Awards. Other notable films in Caan’s filmography include Rollerball, Thief, Misery, Bottle Rocket, Dogtown, and Elf. In 1980, Caan directed his sole feature film, Hide in Plain Sight, in which he also starred.

Caan’s Godfather co-star Al Pacino paid tribute in a statement, saying: “Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend. 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’m gonna miss him.”