The impact of Oscar-nominated actor James Caan extended beyond the silver screen he graced for more than 60 years.
Caan, best known for his roles as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" and Paul Sheldon in "Misery," died at 82 on Wednesday, the actor's official Twitter account shared in a statement Thursday.
"The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time," the tweet read.
Many of Caan's Hollywood comrades, including his "Godfather" co-star Al Pacino, shared their condolences and celebrated the iconic actor.
"Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend," said Pacino in a statement to The Associated Press. "It's hard to believe that he won't be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I'm gonna miss him."
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"I'm very very sad to hear about Jimmy's passing," said Robert De Niro in a statement to The Associated Press.
The Oscar-winning actor played Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather: Part II" in 1974.
Norman Jewison, who directed Caan in the 1975 sci-fi sports film "Rollerball," told Variety in an interview published Monday that Caan's athleticism and "fearless" commitment made him a perfect fit for the role of Jonathan E.
"I was looking for an actor who was tough and athletic, and I couldn’t think of anyone else other than Jimmy, who could put on a pair of roller skates and hang on to a motorbike," Jewison said. "I don’t think he’d ever roller-skated in his life, but he was fearless. He had a deep desire to conquer the physical necessities of the role."
Jewison also praised Caan's vulnerability and emotional depth as an actor.
"He totally understood the central point of the film, which was how big business is controlling everything. He got it emotionally and aesthetically, and that was tough because the movie was ahead of its time in a way," Jewison said. "He was a very sensitive man despite his bravado and toughness, and that came through in his work. He’d been battered, bruised and scarred up, but there was something kind of gentle about him too."
Pierce Brosnan acted alongside Caan in the upcoming mob thriller "Fast Charlie." Brosnan shared photos on July 8 of the pair on set, writing, "Farewell Jimmy. We had many laughs together over those five days in New Orleans. You were an inspiration to me as young actor starting out and an even greater one as a man watching you work each day against great physical pain and discomfort."
"You gave of yourself to the art of acting and performance to the very end," the "James Bond" actor continued. "My heart has a deep sorrow this day for your passing. I shall cherish the memory of you always. My heart felt condolences to your family. May you Rest In Peace forever in the light."
Caan's posthumous performance is set to debut in 2023.
"Loved him very much," Adam Sandler tweeted. "Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best."
James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love. pic.twitter.com/a0q8rCP1Yl
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) July 7, 2022
"I'm so sorry to hear about Jimmy. He was so talented," Barbra Streisand tweeted alongside a black-and-white photo of the two.
Streisand and Caan co-starred in the 1975 biopic dramedy "Funny Lady."
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) July 7, 2022
"Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone paid tribute to Caan on Instagram, writing that the actor was "a man's man."
"I will miss my good friend and great actor, James Caan! Tough, Smart, A man’s man. One of a kind," Stallone wrote.
"So sad about Jimmy Caan," Maria Shriver wrote. "He was a legend. He was always kind to me. Sending his family my love."
"RIP James 'Jimmy' Caan, a true legend of the silver screen. They don’t make em like him anymore," Miles Teller tweeted.
The "Top Gun: Maverick" star followed up and shared a direct message on Twitter Thursday that Caan sent him in 2020, saying that the exchange was one he would cherish for the "rest of his days."
I will cherish this message for the rest of my days pic.twitter.com/bwEIR0HGPK
— Miles Teller (@Miles_Teller) July 8, 2022
In the message to Teller, who starred in "The Offer" about the making of "The Godfather," Caan wrote, "Hey buddy, just wanted to say great job with everything. I enjoy your work. Never loose (sic) the passion and continue to be authentic."
Billy Dee Williams starred alongside Caan in the 1971 sports drama TV movie "Brian's Song." It scored the actors Emmy nominations for their performances.
"Team Mates and friends till the end. RIP Jimmy," Williams said.
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) July 7, 2022
Andy Richter, who co-starred with Caan in the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy "Elf," paid tribute to the actor on Twitter.
"Was lucky enough, after a lifetime of loving his work, to get to work with him and I loved him as a person even more. Funny, warm, self-deprecating, and effortlessly talented," Richter wrote. "They say never meet your heroes, but he proved that to be very very wrong."
Michael Mann, who directed the 1981 crime drama "Thief" starring Caan, called his death a "terrible and tragic loss."
"Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times," Mann shared.
What a terrible and tragic loss. Jimmy was not just a great actor with total commitment and a venturesome spirit, but he had a vitality in the core of his being that drove everything from his art and friendship to athletics and very good times. pic.twitter.com/72b06VJGIi
— Michael Mann (@MichaelMann) July 7, 2022
"James Caan always had the funniest stories," Jennifer Tilly tweeted. "Once he told me Coppola had the habit of grabbing food off his plate & eating it, so one day he made a sandwich with very hot jalapeños between two pieces of buttered bread, & waited outside Coppola’s airstream…"
Tilly and Caan co-starred in the 2003 mystery thriller "Jericho Mansions."
She continued: "Coppola came roaring out to direct the next scene, grabbed the sandwich off the plate & gobbled it down. Immediately tears started squirting out of his eyes & he started yelling 'What is this? What did you do to me?!' And Jimmy said meekly 'Did I ask you to eat my sandwich? Did I?'"
James Caan always had the funniest stories. Once he told me Coppola had the habit of grabbing food off his plate & eating it, so one day he made a sandwich with very hot jalapeños between two pieces of buttered bread, & waited outside Coppola’s airstream…
— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) July 7, 2022
On Twitter, Jon Lovitz shared Caan was "always a fun guy to be around."
"He was always supportive of my career. He even did a cameo in my tv special and got Robert Duvall to be in it. A highlight of my career," he added.
Well, this just sucks about James Caan. I was lucky enough to work with him & be friends. Always a fun guy to be around. He was always supportive of my career. He even did a cameo in my tv special and got Robert Duvall to be in it. A highlight of my career. God bless James Caan.
— Jon Lovitz (@realjonlovitz) July 7, 2022
"Wonderful to know him & call him a pal," Sinise wrote alongside a photo of the two. "Jimmy was so supportive of Gary Sinise Foundation & my work w/ our veterans. He will be missed."
Very sad to hear the news that James Caan has died. Heartbroken for his family & his friends. Wonderful to know him & call him a pal. Jimmy was so supportive of Gary Sinise Foundation & my work w/ our veterans. He will be missed. Thank you my friend. Rest In Peace. God bless you pic.twitter.com/BJYJkSepOW
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) July 7, 2022
Jill Hennessy, who guest-starred in a few episodes of the NBC crime drama series "Las Vegas," remembered the late actor fondly.
"I will always remember him not only as a brilliant actor but as a man of humor & warmth playing with my 1 year old son on set," Hennessy tweeted.
James Caan, actor who played hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in ‘The Godfather,’ dies at 82. -I will always remember him not only as a brilliant actor but as a man of humor & warmth playing with my 1 year old son on set.. #ripjamescaan https://t.co/C5Nt6vCoKe
— Jill Hennessy (@JillHennessy) July 7, 2022
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: James Caan dies: Pierce Brosnan, 'Godfather' star Al Pacino react