|Born||James E. Caan
March 26, 1940
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
|Education||Rhodes Preparatory School|
James E. Caan (born March 26, 1940) is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado. He also starred as "Big Ed" Deline in the television series Las Vegas.
Early life 
Caan was born in The Bronx, New York City, the son of Sophie (née Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan, Jewish immigrants from Germany. His father was a meat dealer and butcher. One of three siblings, Caan grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, New York City. He was educated in New York City, and later attended Michigan State University. He later transferred to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, but did not graduate. While studying at Hofstra University, however, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed for, accepted to, and graduated from, New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. There, one of his instructors was Sanford Meisner.
Acting career 
Early credits 
Caan began his acting career in television on such series as The Untouchables, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Combat!, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, The Wide Country, Alcoa Premiere, Route 66, and Naked City. In 1964, he starred as Jewish athlete Jeff Brubaker in the episode "My Son, the All-American" of Channing, a drama about college life.
His first substantial film role was as a punk hoodlum in the 1964 thriller Lady in a Cage, which starred Olivia de Havilland. In 1965, he landed his first starring role, in Howard Hawks' auto-racing drama Red Line 7000. In 1966, Caan appeared as Alan Bourdillion Trahern, aka Mississippi, in El Dorado, with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. He had a starring role in Robert Altman's second feature film, Countdown, in 1968. In 1969, his appearance on the spy sitcom Get Smart was uncredited, billed as "Rupert of Rathskeller as Himself"; in that same year he won praise for his role as a brain-damaged football player in The Rain People (1969) directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
1970 to 1982 
The following year, Coppola cast him as the short-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Originally, Caan was cast as Michael Corleone (Sonny's youngest brother); both Coppola and Caan demanded that this role be played by Al Pacino, so Caan could play Sonny instead. Although another actor was already signed to play Sonny, the studio insisted on having Caan, so he remained in the production. Caan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film, competing with co-stars Pacino and Robert Duvall. Caan was closely identified with the role for years afterward: "They called me a wiseguy. I won Italian of the Year twice in New York, and I'm not Italian.... I was denied in a country club once. Oh yeah, the guy sat in front of the board, and he says, 'No, no, he's a wiseguy, been downtown. He's a made guy.' I thought, What? Are you out of your mind?"
From 1971 to 1982, Caan appeared in many films, playing a wide variety of roles. His films included T.R. Baskin, Cinderella Liberty, Freebie and the Bean, The Godfather Part II, Rollerball, a musical turn in Funny Lady, Harry And Walter Go To New York, A Bridge Too Far, Comes A Horseman, and Neil Simon's autobiographical Chapter Two. In 1980, Caan directed Hide in Plain Sight, a film about a father searching for his children, who were lost in the Witness Protection Program. Despite critical praise, the film was not a hit with the public. The following year, Caan appeared in the neo-noir movie Thief, directed by Michael Mann, in which he played a professional safe cracker.
Caan rejected a series of starring roles which proved to be successes for other actors, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Kramer vs. Kramer, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, and Superman.
1982 to the present 
From 1982 to 1987, Caan suffered from depression over his sister's death, a growing problem with cocaine, and what he described as "Hollywood burnout," and did not act in any films. He returned to acting in 1987, when Coppola cast him as an army platoon sergeant for the "Old Guard" in Gardens of Stone, a film that dealt with the effect of the Vietnam War on the United States homefront. In 1988 and 1990, Caan starred in the films Alien Nation, Dick Tracy, and Misery, a hit film that marked a comeback for Caan. Since the script for Misery called for Caan's character, Paul Sheldon, to spend most of his time lying in bed, the role was turned down by many of Hollywood's leading actors before Caan accepted.
In 1992, Caan appeared in Honeymoon in Vegas, and in 1993, he played Coach Winters in The Program, alongside Halle Berry. In 1996, he appeared in Bottle Rocket, and with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser, and later starred as kingpin Frank Colton in Bulletproof with Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans. In 1998, Caan portrayed Philip Marlowe in the HBO film Poodle Springs. Some of his more recent appearances have been in Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), The Way of the Gun (2000), The Yards (2000), City of Ghosts (2002), Night at the Golden Eagle (2002), Dogville (2003), and Elf (2003).
In 2003, Caan auditioned for and won the role of Montecito Hotel/Casino president "Big Ed" Deline in Las Vegas. On February 27, 2007, Caan announced that he would not return to the show for its fifth season in order to return to film work; he was replaced by Tom Selleck.
Caan played the President of the United States in the 2008 film Get Smart, and had a part in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as the voice of the father of the lead character, Flint. In 2012, Caan was a guest-star on the re-imagined Hawaii Five-0, playing opposite his son, Scott Caan. As of 2010 Caan is Chairman of an Internet company, Openfilm, intended to help upcoming filmmakers.
Other work 
Caan is a practicing martial artist. He has trained with Takayuki Kubota for nearly thirty years, earning various ranks. He is a Master (Rank = 6 Dan) of Gosoku Ryu Karate and was granted the title of Soke Dai by the International Karate Association. Caan trained the Culver City Police Department in martial arts use.
Personal life 
Caan has been married four times. In 1960, he married Dee Jay Mathis; they divorced in 1966. They had a daughter, Tara A. Caan, born 1964. Caan's second marriage to Sheila Marie Ryan (a former girlfriend of Elvis Presley) in 1976 was short-lived; they divorced the following year. Their son, Scott Caan, who also is an actor, was born August 23, 1976.
Caan was married to Ingrid Hajek from September 1990 to March 1995; they had a son, Alexander James Caan, born 1991. He married the widow of alleged murdered Aspen Drug kingpin Steven Grabow, Linda Stokes in October 1996; they have two sons, James Arthur Caan (born 1995) and Jacob Nicholas Caan (born 1998). Caan filed for divorce on November 20, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences.
Caan describes his political views as "ultra conservative". He has described himself as anti-liberal. He has also been arrested multiple times and socialized with drug-runners and murderers such as Ben Kramer, who killed Donald Aronow in 1987.
According to Fortune magazine's profile of Barry Minkow, during the production of the biopic based on the investor's life James Caan socialized with Minkow and was made aware by him that the financing of the film involved illegally obtained funds.
|Irma la Douce||1963||Soldier with radio||(uncredited)|
|Lady in a Cage||1964||Randall Simpson O'Connell|
|The Glory Guys||1965||Pvt. Anthony Dugan|
|Red Line 7000||1965||Mike|
|El Dorado||1966||Alan Brahdilleone Traherne ('Mississippi')|
|Submarine X-1||1968||Cmdr. Richard Bolton, RNVR|
|Journey to Shiloh||1968||Buck Burnett|
|The Rain People||1969||Jimmy Kilgannon (Killer)|
|Rabbit, Run||1970||Rabbit Angstrom|
|T.R. Baskin||1971||Larry Moore|
|Brian's Song||1971||Brian Piccolo||Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or a Movie|
|The Godfather||1972||Santino 'Sonny' Corleone||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
|Cinderella Liberty||1973||John Baggs Jr.|
|The Gambler||1974||Axel Freed||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama|
|The Godfather: Part II||1974||Sonny Corleone|
|Freebie and the Bean||1974||Freebie|
|Funny Lady||1975||Billy Rose||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|Rollerball||1975||Jonathan E.||Saturn Award for Best Actor tied with Don Johnson for A Boy and His Dog|
|Gone with the West||1975||Jud McGraw|
|The Killer Elite||1975||Mike Locken|
|Harry and Walter Go to New York||1976||Harry Dighby|
|A Bridge Too Far||1977||Sgt. Eddie Dohun|
|Un autre homme, une autre chance||1977||David Williams||aka Another Man, Another Chance|
|Comes a Horseman||1978||Frank 'Buck' Athearn|
|1941||1979||Sailor in fight||(uncredited)|
|Chapter Two||1979||George Schneider|
|Hide in Plain Sight||1980||Thomas Hacklin||Also directed|
|Les Uns et les Autres||1981||Jack Glenn/Jason Glenn||aka Dance of Life|
|Kiss Me Goodbye||1982||Jolly Villano|
|Gardens of Stone||1987||SFC. Clell Hazard|
|Alien Nation||1987||Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes|
|Misery||1990||Paul Sheldon||Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor|
|The Dark Backward||1991||Doctor Scurvy|
|For the Boys||1991||Eddie Sparks|
|Honeymoon in Vegas||1992||Tommy Korman|
|The Program||1993||Sam Winters|
|Flesh and Bone||1993||Roy Sweeney|
|The Program||1994||Coach Sam Winters|
|A Boy Called Hate||1995||Jim|
|North Star||1996||Sean McLennon|
|Bottle Rocket||1996||Mr. Henry|
|Eraser||1996||U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin|
|This Is My Father||1998||Kieran Johnson|
|Mickey Blue Eyes||1999||Frank Vitale|
|The Yards||2000||Frank Olchin|
|The Way of the Gun||2000||Joe Sarno|
|Warden of Red Rock||2001||John Flinders|
|Viva Las Nowhere||2001||Roy Baker|
|A Glimpse of Hell||2001||Capt. Fred Moosally|
|In the Shadows||2001||Lance Huston|
|Night at the Golden Eagle||2002||Prison Warden||(uncredited)|
|City of Ghosts||2002||Marvin|
|Blood Crime||2002||Sheriff Morgan McKenna|
|Jericho Mansions||2003||Leonard Grey|
|Dogville||2003||The Big Man|
|This Thing of Ours||2003||Jimmy 'the con'|
|Las Vegas||2003-2008||Ed Deline|
|Santa's Slay||2005||Darren Mason||(uncredited)|
|Get Smart||2008||The President|
|Something, Something, Something, Darkside||2009||Himself|
|New York, I Love You||2009||Mr. Riccoli||(segment "Brett Ratner")|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||2009||Tim Lockwood (Flint's father)||(voice)|
|Middle Men||2010||Jerry Haggerty|
|The Annoying Orange||2010||Jalepeño||(voice, web-based series)|
|Small Apartments||2012||Mr. Allspice|
|That's My Boy||2012||Father McNally|
|Hawaii Five-0||2012||Tony Archer||Season 2 Episode 18|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||2013||Tim Lockwood (Flint's father)||(voice)|
|Anyone's Son||2013||John Hanna|
- Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005
- California Divorce Index, 1966-1984
- Model, Betsy. "The Ultimate Caan". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- James Caan profile at Film Reference.com
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2000
- "James Caan biography". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Overview for James Caan". Tcm.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Maggie Van Ostrand. "‘Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli,’ and Other Godfather Stories". Film School Rejects.
- Mark Seal. "The Godfather Wars". Vanity Fair.
- "James Caan | Caan Rues The Bad Choices That Prompted Him To Turn Down Movies". Contactmusic.com. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Website offers filmmakers aid" Variety, Retrieved May 7, 2010
- "The History of Karate in America" The American Black Belt Society, Retrieved November 1, 2006
- "Echoes linger 20 years after car bombing : TheRocky.com: Denver News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars, & Information". M.rockymountainnews.com. 2005-12-08. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "James Caan Refuses to Be the Typical 'Hollywood Liberal'". Fox News. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "James Caan Arrested, Released After Alleged Gun Incident". LA times. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "MEL KESSLER, The Miami Drug Lawyer". The Miami Herald. 1990-9-2. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "Barry Minkow: All-American con man - Fortune Features". Features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: James Caan|
- James Caan at the Internet Movie Database
- James Caan at AllRovi
- Bright Lights Film Journal interview