Francis Ford Coppola, who first directed James Caan in the 1969 feature film The Rain People and would reunite three years later for the Hollywood masterpiece The Godfather, remembered his old friend in a statement provided exclusively to Deadline.
“Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known,” Coppola said. “From those earlier times working together on The Rain People, and throughout all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten. He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”
Caan, who was Oscar-nominated for his performance as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and briefly reprised the role in 1974’s The Godfather Part II, died Wednesday at the age of 82.
For more Hollywood tributes to the late actor, go here.
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