James Caan Biography

Birthday: 1940-03-26
Place of Birth: The Bronx, New York USA
Height: 5' 9¼" (1.76 m)
Wiki Biography: A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York born and bred (the son of a butcher). The athletically gifted Caan played football at Michigan State University while studying economics, holds a black belt in karate and for several years was even a regular on the rodeo circuit, where he was nicknamed "The Jewish Cowboy". However, while studying at Hofstra University, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed and accepted at Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse. He then won a scholarship to study under acting coach Wynn Handman and began to appear in several off-Broadway productions, including "I Roam" and "Mandingo". He made his screen debut as a sailor in Irma la Douce (1963) and began to impress audiences with his work in Red Line 7000 (1965) and the western El Dorado (1966) alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Further work followed in Journey to Shiloh (1968) and in the sensitive The Rain People (1969). However, audiences were moved to tears as he put in a heart-rending performance as cancer-stricken Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo in the highly rated made-for-TV film Brian's Song (1971) (TV). With these strong performances under his belt, Francis Ford Coppola then cast him as hot-tempered gangster Santino "Sonny" Corleone in the Mafia epic The Godfather (1972). The film was an enormous success, Caan scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination and, in the years since, the role has proven to be the one most fondly remembered by his legion of fans. He reprised the role for several flashback scenes in the sequel The Godfather: Part II (1974) and then moved on to several very diverse projects. These included a cop-buddy crime partnership with Alan Arkin in the uneven Freebie and the Bean (1974), a superb performance as a man playing for his life in The Gambler (1974) alongside Lauren Hutton, and pairing with Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady (1975). Two further strong lead roles came up for him in 1975, first as futuristic sports star "Jonathon E" questioning the moral fiber of a sterile society in Rollerball (1975) and teaming up with Robert Duvall in the Sam Peckinpah spy thriller The Killer Elite (1975). Unfortunately, Caan's rising star sputtered badly at this stage of his career, and several film projects failed to find fire with either critics or audiences. These included such failures as the hokey Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976), the quasi-western Comes a Horseman (1978) and the saccharine Chapter Two (1979). However, he did score again with the stylish Michael Mann-directed heist movie Thief (1981). He followed this with a supernatural romantic comedy titled Kiss Me Goodbye (1982) and then, due to personal conflicts, dropped out of the spotlight for several years before returning with a stellar performance under old friend Francis Ford Coppola in the moving Gardens of Stone (1987). Caan appeared back in favor with fans and critics alike and raised his visibility with the sci-fi hit Alien Nation (1988) and Dick Tracy (1990), then surprised everyone by playing a meek romance novelist held captive after a car accident by a deranged fan in the dynamic Misery (1990). The 1990s were kind to him and he notched up roles as a band leader in For the Boys (1991), another gangster in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), appeared in the indie hit Bottle Rocket (1996) and pursued Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser (1996). The demand on Caan's talents seems to have increased steadily over the past few years as he is making himself known to a new generation of fans. Recent hot onscreen roles have included The Yards (1999), City of Ghosts (2002) and Dogville (2003). In addition, he finds himself at the helm of the hit TV series "Las Vegas" (2003) as casino security chief "Big Ed" Deline. An actor of undeniably manly appeal, James Caan continues to surprise and delight audiences with his invigorating performances.

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TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Get Smart The President 1965 - 1970 Action
Freebie and the Bean Freebie 1974 Action
Alien Nation Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes 1989 - 1990 Crime
Las Vegas Ed Deline 2003 - 2004 Crime
Dragon's Den (UK) Himself - Dragon / ... 2005 Reality Tv
Dragons Den Himself - Dragon 2005 Reality Tv
Dragons' Den Himself - Dragon 2005
Mercy Gerry Ryan 2009
That's My Boy Father McNally 2012 Comedy
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Games 1967 Thriller
The Rain People 1969 Drama
The Godfather Sonny 1972 Crime, Drama
Godfather Sonny 1972 Crime, Drama
Cinderella Liberty 1973 0
Freebie and the Bean Freebie 1974
The Killer Elite 1975 Comedy, 0
Funny Lady Billy Rose 1975 Musical, Comedy, Drama
Harry And Walter Go To New York 1976 Crime, Comedy
Comes a Horseman 1978 Biography, Fantasy
Chapter Two 1980 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Thief Frank 1981
Gardens of Stone Sgt. Clell Hazard 1987 0, 0, Romance
Alien Nation Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes 1988 Game Show, Comedy, Sport, 0
Misery Paul Sheldon 1990 Thriller
The Dark Backward Doctor Scurvy 1991 Comedy
For the Boys 1991 Comedy, Drama, Music
Honeymoon in Vegas 1992 Comedy, Romance, Thriller
The Program Sam Winters 1993 Action, Drama, Sport
Flesh and Bone 1993 Drama, Mystery, Romance
A Boy Called Hate Jim 1996 Crime, Drama, Romance
Eraser U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin 1996 Action, Crime, Drama
Bulletproof Colton 1996 Action, Adventure, Comedy
North Star Sean McLennon 1996 Action, Adventure, Crime
Mickey Blue Eyes Frank Vitale 1999 Comedy, Biography
This Is My Father Kieran Johnson 1999 Romance, Drama
Luckytown 2000
The Way of the Gun Joe Sarno 2000 Comedy, 0, Game Show
The Yards Frank Olchin 2000 0, Comedy, 0, Game Show
Brian's Song Brian Piccolo 2001 0, 0
Viva Las Nowhere Roy Baker 2001 Crime, Drama, Comedy
This Thing of Ours 2002
Rollerball Jonathan E. 2002 Sport, Game Show
In the Shadows Lance Huston 2002 Drama, Thriller
Lathe of Heaven 2002 Sci Fi
Elf Walter 2003 0, 0
City of Ghosts 2003 Crime, Drama, Thriller
Dogville The Big Man 2003 Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Jericho Mansions Leonard Grey 2004 Drama, Thriller
The Thief Frank 2005
New York, I Love You 2008 Biography, 0
Wisegal Salvatore Palmeri 2008 Crime, Drama
Get Smart The President 2008 Action, Adventure, Comedy
Mercy Gerry Ryan 2009 Drama, Romance
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Tim Lockwood 2009 Animation, Comedy, Family
Henry's Crime Max Saltzman 2010 Comedy
Minkow Agent Paul Vinsant 2011 Crime
That's My Boy 2012
Small Apartments Mr. Allspice 2012 0, Comedy
Detachment Mr. Charles Seaboldt 2012 Drama
For the Love of Money Micky 2012 Action, Crime, Drama
Lightfield's Home Videos Himself 2012 Adventure, Drama
The Outsider Schuuster 2013 Action, Crime, Drama
Blood Ties Leon 2014 0, Drama
Preggoland Walter 2014 0, 0
Sweetwater Ned Irish 2014 Sport
Redemption Marc Benton 2014 Action, Romance
Sicilian Vampire Professor Bernard Issaacs 2015 0, Reality Tv, Game Show
The Throwaways Lt. Col. Christopher Holden 2015 Action, Fantasy, Thriller
Wuthering High Earnshaw 2015 Drama
Operation Insanity Grandpa 2016 Action, Comedy, Family
Middle Men Jerry Haggerty 2016 Comedy