Mario Lopez Reveals Son Named in Honor of James Caan After Actor Died on His Third Birthday

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Mario Lopez Reflects on James Caan's Death on Day of Son Santino's Birthday: 'From One Sonny to Another'
Mario Lopez Reflects on James Caan's Death on Day of Son Santino's Birthday: 'From One Sonny to Another'

Mario Lopez/Instagram

Mario Lopez is honoring James Caan.

The Saved By the Bell actor revealed in an Instagram post on Thursday that his son, Santino Rafael, is named after Caan's character in The Godfather.

"I named my son after Santino Corleone in the Godfather and the man who infamously played him passed away today on my son's birthday," he captioned a side-by-side photo of Caan in the iconic film and his son looking at the camera with pursed lips.

"From one Sonny to another… God bless you James Caan & Happy Birthday Sonny!"

The post also included a more recent photo of Caan posing with Lopez.

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Mario Lopez (L) and James Caan celebrate their favorite destination at the LA premiere of "Mexico: The Royal Tour" at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on September 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California
Mario Lopez (L) and James Caan celebrate their favorite destination at the LA premiere of "Mexico: The Royal Tour" at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on September 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California

Christopher Polk/Getty

James Caan died at 82 years old, a tweet from the actor's official account Thursday announced. A cause of death was not made immediately available.

"It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6," the statement read.

A titan in the film industry, Caan's movie and TV career stretches back over 60 years, with some of his most notable roles being in The Godfather (1972), Misery (1990) and Elf (2003).

"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 added.

RELATED: James Caan Honored by Godfather Costars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and More: 'Gonna Miss Him'

In addition to Santino, who family and friends also call Sonny, Lopez is dad to daughter Gia Francesca, 11, and son Dominic Luciano, 8. Wife Courtney Lopez also shared a birthday tribute to the youngest of the couple's three kids.

"My baby turned 3 today. Crazy how time flies," she captioned a set of photos of their son throughout the years, starting with one where baby Santino is dressed up as Woody from Toy Story.