‘Misery’ Director Rob Reiner Posts Heartfelt Tribute to Late Star James Caan

by Emily Morgan

The world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest actors: James Caan. Now, Rob Reiner is among the many saying their goodbyes to the legendary actor. The iconic “Godfather” star passed away on July 6 at 82. 

In the wake of his passing, fans and fellow actors have offered condolences for the New York-born actor. Actor and Misery director Rob Reiner also paid tribute to his longtime friend and colleague. 

“So sorry to hear the news,” the Stand By Me director began. “I loved working with him. And the only Jew I knew who could calf rope with the best of them. Love to the family,” he said.

The star’s Twitter account announced the news of his passing Thursday, writing: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6. The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

His reps did not immediately reveal a cause of death.

Caan, born in the Bronx in 1940, was best known for his portrayal of Santino “Sonny” Corleone in 1972’s blockbuster hit, The Godfather. His performance earned him a best supporting actor nomination at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. He reprised the role in 1974’s The Godfather Part II when he made a cameo at the end of the movie.

James Caan reminisced on the legacy of ‘The Godfather

His career would never be the same when he starred in the mafia movie about the fictional Corleone crime family. He once reflected on the film’s impact for its 50th anniversary. The Elf actor said he was thrilled to be part of a project with such a legacy. 

“I’m happy there’s something they can remember about me,” Caan said back in April. “I’m very proud of it, and I’m very proud of Francis. The cast was great. And that just added to my one big thing about making a good movie. If you get people together that like one another and genuinely like each other and have a good time, invariably the movie is good and better. And I think audiences can tell that they like each other while they’re watching the film.”

Although he was known for his hyper-masculine roles, he switched gears when he starred alongside Will Ferrel in the children’s Christmas film Elf

As a result, he gained a new generation of fans with his appearance in the 2003 holiday comedy film. He played the biological father of Ferrell’s character, Buddy the Elf. The late star’s final movie role came in 2021’s Queen Bees. The film was a rom-com that starred Ellen Burstyn, Jane Curtin, and Ann-Margret.

Caan is survived by daughter Tara, 57, and sons Scott, 45, Alexander, 31, James, 26, and Jacob, 23.