James Caan Celebrity Watchlist


A macho leading man best known for his role as the hot-headed Sonny Corleone from The Godfather, Caan seemed to have it all in the early 1970s. After earning raves and an Emmy nomination as a dying football player in the 1971 TV-movie Brian's Song, he made a splash on the big screen the next year in The Godfather and earned an Oscar nod. A string of mostly disappointing features followed (Funny Girl, Gone with the West and Hide in Plain Sight, which he also directed) before Caan suddenly exited the Hollywood scene in 1982. For five years he was MIA, and although rumors about his absence abounded, no one ever figured out the entire story. He returned to the big screen in the Vietnam drama Gardens of Stone (helmed by Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola) and continued to work steadily, sometimes parodying his gangster persona (Honeymoon in Vegas, Mickey Blue Eyes). In 2003, after four decades in showbiz, he took a gamble on series television and hit the jackpot on the popular drama Las Vegas. He left the show after its fourth season to pursue big-screen work. In his spare time, Caan practices martial arts and is a sixth-degree black belt.

Fast Facts

  • Rejected the family meat business to pursue an education and, ultimately, acting.
  • Was a rider on the professional rodeo circuit.
  • Kick-started career with an unbilled part in Billy Wilder's Irma la Douce (1963).
  • Has a black belt in karate.
  • Displayed his singing voice opposite Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady and Bette Midler in For the Boys.
  • Turned down roles in several big hits, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kramer vs. Kramer and Apocalypse Now.


  • 1972, Emmy — Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1973, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1966, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Nominee
  • 1976, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1972, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee


  • Linda Stokes — Wife (separated)
  • Ingrid Hajek — Ex-wife
  • James Arthur Caan — Son
  • Sheila Ryan — Ex-wife
  • Sophie Caan — Mother
  • Alexander James Caan — Son
  • Arthur Caan — Father
  • Jacob Nicholas Caan — Son
  • Tara Caan — Daughter
  • Scott Caan — Son
  • DeeJay Mathis — Ex-wife
  • Barbara Caan — Sister
  • Ronald Caan — Brother


  • Attended Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States; attended Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, United States


  • Birth Name: James Edmund Caan
  • Birth Place: Bronx, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Director

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