James Caan, 82, star of “The Godfather” and “Elf,” has died.

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James Caan, 82, star of “The Godfather” and “Elf,” has died.

Actor James Caan, well known for his appearances in “The Godfather” and other films, has died at the age of 82, according to his family.

With tremendous regret, we must notify you that Jimmy passed away on July 6th evening, according to a message on the actor’s Twitter page. It’s been a terrible time for the family, so they ask that you continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

James Caan, 82, star of "The Godfather" and "Elf," has died.

His career in Hollywood spanned more than half a century. In his early twenties, after transferring from Michigan State University to Hofstra University, he began booking guest roles on TV shows including “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”

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When he was 26, Caan starred in the 1966 western “El Dorado” starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. The part began his career, leading to further productions including “Brian’s Song,” a TV drama about a terminally ill football player.

In the end, he got the role of a lifetime as Sonny Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” in 1972. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for his work.

Caan went on to star in such films as “The Gambler,” “Rollerball,” “Thief,” and “Misery” after “The Godfather” was a box office hit. Also, he reprised his role as Sonny in “The Godfather II” in a flashback scene

In the 1980s, Caan says he was depressed and addicted to drugs after losing his sister to illness.

James Caan, 82, star of "The Godfather" and "Elf," has died.

When he played Walter Hobbs, Buddy the Elf’s biological father, in the 2003 Christmas film “Elf,” Caan gained a new generation of fans. After first rejecting Will Ferrell’s request to appear in the film, he changed his mind and agreed to appear in the movie.

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Also, his role as a casino owner in the show “Las Vegas” garnered him praise.

Caan said on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” that he “fought always to never be the same guy again.” When it comes to becoming an actor, “the pleasure of it is being someone else for three months,” he says.

James Caan, 82, star of "The Godfather" and "Elf," has died.

He had no intention of slowing down, and he hoped to one day play a “genuine character” in a Hollywood movie.

This is too much for me; I can’t just relax and enjoy the ride. “It’s a pleasure for me to go to work every day. Working with decent individuals is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a lot more enjoyable for me to be at work since I get to meet a lot of new and interesting people. A lot of laughter and respect are exchanged as a result of my efforts, and I’ve met some interesting folks along the road.”

On Thursday, stars who worked with Caan paid tribute to the actor.

A statement from actor Al Pacino, who played the Godfather’s fictional brother Jimmy, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, “Jimmy was my imaginary brother and my lifelong friend. “Seeing him alive and courageous makes it hard to imagine he won’t be around any longer. Friend, actor, and director all in one. My heart breaks for his loss.”

Actor Robert De Niro, who played in “The Godfather: Part II,” released a statement in which he said he was “very, very sad” to learn of Jimmy’s death.

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