James Caan

BirthDay:

26 Mar 1940

BirthPlace:

The Bronx, New York, USA

BirthName:

James Edmund Caan

Bio:

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 (1966) 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.
Filmography

Actor ( 178 credits )

Sweetwater (2018) Ned Irish
Minkow (2017) Agent Paul Vinsant
The Red Maple Leaf (2016) George Lawrence Secord
JL Ranch (2016) Tap
The Good Neighbor (2016)
Undercover Grandpa (2016) Grandpa
Sicilian Vampire (2015) Professor Bernard Issaacs
The Throwaways (2015) Lt. Col. Christopher Holden
Preggoland (2014) Walter
Altman (2014) Himself
A Fighting Man (2014)
The Outsider (2014) Schuuster
Unsung Hollywood (2014)  Himself (1 episode, 2015)
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) The Bamboo Cutter (voice)
Blood Ties (2013) Leon
Seduced and Abandoned (2013) Himself
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) Tim Lockwood (voice)
Back in the Game (2013)  Terry 'The Cannon' Gannon, Sr. (12 episodes, 2013)
The Arsenio Hall Show (2013)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
That's My Boy (2012) Father McNally
For the Love of Money (2012) Micky
Small Apartments (2012) Mr. Allspice
Magic City (2012)  Sy Berman (5 episodes, 2013)
America's Book of Secrets (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
Teens Wanna Know (2012)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
Larry King Now (2012)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
Detachment (2011) Mr. Charles Seaboldt
D'un film à l'autre (2011) Himself (archive footage)
JacK Waltzer: On the Craft of Acting (2011) Himself - Comedian
A Football Life (2011)  Brian Piccolo (archive footage) (1 episode, 2014)
Henry's Crime (2010) Max Saltzman
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)  Tony Archer (1 episode, 2012)
Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (2009) Himself
Middle Men (2009) Jerry Haggerty
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) Tim Lockwood (voice)
Mercy (2009) Gerry Ryan
The Annoying Orange (2009)  Jalapeno (1 episode, 2010)
New York, I Love You (2008) Mr. Riccoli (segment "Brett Ratner")
Get Smart (2008) The President
House of Harrington (2008) (archive footage)
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007) Himself
On the Lot (2007) (archive footage) (1 episode, 2007)
Rencontres de cinéma (2007)  Himself (2 episodes, 2013)
Lightfield's Home Videos (2006) Himself
Rachael Ray (2006)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2006)
Santa's Slay (2005) Darren Mason (uncredited)
The Contender (2005)  Himself (uncredited) (8 episodes, 2005)
The Girls Next Door (2005)  Himself (uncredited) (2 episodes, 2005-2006)
Jericho Mansions (2003) Leonard Grey
Elf (2003) Walter
Dogville (2003) The Big Man
This Thing of Ours (2003) Jimmy
Las Vegas (2003)  Ed Deline (88 episodes, 2003-2007)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 2004-2013)
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2006)
Imagine (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
Shootout (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
City of Ghosts (2002) Marvin
CenterStage (2002)  Special Guest (1 episode, 2011)
In the Shadows (2001) Lance Huston
Night at the Golden Eagle (2001) Prison Warden (uncredited)
Viva Las Nowhere (2001) Roy Baker
Crossing Jordan (2001)  Ed Deline (1 episode, 2004)
Dinner for Five (2001)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
The Yards (2000) Frank Olchin
The Way of the Gun (2000) Joe Sarno
Luckytown (2000) Charlie Doyles
Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) Frank Vitale
Family Guy (1999)  James Caan (1 episode, 2009)
The Directors (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 1999)
Unzipped (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 1999)
ESPN SportsCentury (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2001)
This Is My Father (1998) Kieran Johnson
The Howard Stern Radio Show (1998)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 1999)
The View (1997)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
The North Star (1996) Sean McLennon
Bulletproof (1996) Colton
Eraser (1996) U.S. Marshal Robert DeGuerin
Bottle Rocket (1996) Mr. Henry
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1996)
The O'Reilly Factor (1996)  Himself / ... (1 episode, 2012)
Magacine (1996)  Himself (2 episodes, 2005)
A Boy Called Hate (1995) Jim
NewsRadio (1995)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 1996)
Inside the Actors Studio (1994)  Himself (1 episode, 2000)
Howard Stern (1994)  Himself (2 episodes, 1999-2003)
Flesh and Bone (1993) Roy Sweeney
The Program (1993) Sam Winters
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 1994)
Good Day L.A. (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Intimate Portrait (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Himself - Guest (2 episodes, 2000-2003)
Harley-Davidson: The American Motorcycle (1993) Himself
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) Tommy Korman
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself (1 episode, 1996)
Gomorron (1992)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
Earth and the American Dream (1992) Reader (voice)
For the Boys (1991) Eddie Sparks
The Dark Backward (1991) Doctor Scurvy
Misery (1990) Paul Sheldon
Hollywood Mavericks (1990) Jimmy Kilgannon (archive footage) (uncredited)
Dick Tracy (1990) Spaldoni
The Simpsons (1989)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
The Arsenio Hall Show (1989)  Himself (1 episode, 1989)
Alien Nation (1988) Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes
Gardens of Stone (1987) Sgt. Clell Hazard
Biography (1987)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 2000-2005)
Kiss Me Goodbye (1982) Jolly
Bolero (1981) Jack Glenn / Jason Glenn
Thief (1981) Frank
Hide in Plain Sight (1980) Thomas Hacklin, Jr.
Les nouveaux rendez-vous (1980)  Himself (1 episode, 1980)
Chapter Two (1979) George Schneider
1941 (1979) Sailor in Fight (uncredited)
Comes a Horseman (1978) Frank 'Buck' Athearn
Ciné regards (1978)  Himself (1 episode, 1981)
Another Man, Another Chance (1977) David Williams / Photographer
A Bridge Too Far (1977) Staff Sergeant Dohun
Hollywood Greats (1977)  Himself (1 episode, 2006)
Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976) Harry Dighby
Silent Movie (1976) Himself
The Killer Elite (1975) Mike Locken
Rollerball (1975) Jonathan E.
Funny Lady (1975) Billy Rose
Gone with the West (1975) Jud McGraw
Good Morning America (1975)  Himself (4 episodes, 1976-2013)
Don Adams' Screen Test (1975)  Himself (1 episode, 1975)
Sammy and Company (1975)  Himself (1 episode, 1975)
From Rome to Rollerball: The Full Circle (1975) Himself
The Godfather: Part II (1974) Sonny Corleone
The Gambler (1974) Axel Freed
Freebie and the Bean (1974) Freebie
Cinderella Liberty (1973) John Baggs Jr.
Slither (1973) Dick Kanipsia
Tomorrow Coast to Coast (1973)  Himself (1 episode, 1981)
The Godfather (1972) Sonny Corleone
The David Steinberg Show (1972)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 1972)
Clapper Board (1972)  Himself (1 episode, 1980)
T.R. Baskin (1971) Larry Moore
The Godfather: Behind the Scenes (1971) Himself
Rabbit, Run (1970) Rabbit Angstrom
The Rain People (1969) Jimmy Kilgannon (Killer)
The David Frost Show (1969)  Himself (3 episodes, 1971-1972)
Filmmaker (1968) Himself (uncredited)
Journey to Shiloh (1968) Buck Burnett
Submarine X-1 (1968) Commander Bolton
Games (1967) Paul Montgomery
El Dorado (1967) Mississippi
Countdown (1967) Lee Stegler
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967)  Himself (1 episode, 1972)
Donahue (1967)  Himself (1 episode, 1977)
Red Line 7000 (1965) Mike
The Glory Guys (1965) Pvt. Anthony Dugan
Get Smart (1965)  Rupert of Rathskeller (uncredited) (2 episodes, 1969)
The F.B.I. (1965)  Eugene David Holt (1 episode, 1969)
Lady in a Cage (1964) Randall Simpson O'Connell
Cinema (1964)  Himself (1 episode, 1974)
Irma la Douce (1963) Soldier with Radio (uncredited)
Kraft Suspense Theatre (1963)  Rick Peterson (1 episode, 1963)
Channing (1963)  Jeff Brubaker (1 episode, 1964)
Combat! (1962)  Sgt. Beckman (1 episode, 1963)
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962)  Jay Shaw / ... (1 episode, 1964)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)  Himself (10 episodes, 1971-1984)
The Merv Griffin Show (1962)  Himself (1 episode, 1972)
Wide Country (1962)  Buddie Simpson (1 episode, 1963)
The Doctors and the Nurses (1962)  Dr. Dick Harris (1 episode, 1962)
Dr. Kildare (1961)  Charley Johnson (1 episode, 1963)
Ben Casey (1961)  Dr. Keith Gregory (1 episode, 1963)
Alcoa Premiere (1961)  Arch Williams (1 episode, 1962)
Route 66 (1960)  Johnny (1 episode, 1961)
The Untouchables (1959)  Keir Brannon (1 episode, 1962)
Play of the Week (1959) (1 episode, 1961)
Naked City (1958)  Marty Feketi (1 episode, 1961)
Wagon Train (1957)  Paul (1 episode, 1965)
Death Valley Days (1952)  Bob / ... (2 episodes, 1963)
Redemption (0) Marc Benton
Stark Raving Normal (0) LeJeune (rumored)
Good Enough (0) Roger Flynn

Director ( 1 credit )

Hide in Plain Sight (1980)