One of the most versatile actors in motion pictures, James Caan is best known for his Academy Award nominated performance as Sonny Corleone in THE GODFATHER and for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of football star Brian Piccalo in “Brian’s Song.”
Appearing in more than 50 feature films over the course of his career, Caan also earned great recognition starring in Rob Reiner’s highly successful and critically acclaimed film MISERY, a psychological thriller based on the novel by Stephen King and in FOR THE BOYS, a romantic drama co-starring Bette Midler. He was equally praised for his performance as a brain damaged football star in Francis Ford Coppola’s THE RAIN PEOPLE, garnering him the Best Actor Award from the San Sebastian Film Festival. He also received the Actor of the Year honor from the National Association of Theater Owners for his role in THE GAMBLER.
Born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, New York, Caan knew early on that he did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in the family meat business. He entered Michigan State University at age sixteen to study economics and to play football.
Caan transferred to Hofstra University to study law and during a spring break was interviewed by, and accepted to Stanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse. He then won a scholarship to study with Wynn Handman, and went on to get the first four jobs he auditioned for in the theater.
Caan began his career on stage in the 1961 off-Broadway production of La Ronde. He followed with a powerful slate of guest appearances in virtually every major television series of the day.
In addition to the previously named titles, Caan’s other film credits include CINDERELLA LIBERTY, FUNNY LADY, A BRIDGE TOO FAR, THIEF, T.R. BASKIN, SLITHER, SILENT MOVIE, ROLLERBALL, THE KILLER ELITE, ANOTHER MAN, ANOTHER CHANCE, COMES A HORSEMAN, GARDENS OF STONE, ALIEN NATION, FLESH AND BONE, THE PROGRAM, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, ERASER, and MICKEY BLUE EYES.
He also starred in THE YARDS, for Miramax Films, opposite Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Whalberg and Charlize Theron, Artisan Entertainment’s THE WAY OF THE GUN, in which he co-starred with Benecio Del Toro, New Line Cinema’s mega-hit comedy ELF, in which he co-starred with Will Ferrell, Lars von Trier’s DOGVILLE, co-starring Nicole Kidman, and the NBC drama “Las Vegas.” He also directed as well as starred in the critically acclaimed film HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.