“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6,” a statement from Caan’s family read via Twitter on Thursday, July 7. “The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Gunn, 55, took to social media amid the news to pay his respects to the Oscar winner.
“Rest In Peace James Caan. There are so many movies of his I love, The Godfather films of course being at the very top, but here are a few more I adore (Thief in particular was a Gunn family classic – I had the poster on my wall in high school). 🙏❤️,” the filmmaker tweeted in honor of the late actor.
Meanwhile, Andy Richter opened up about getting the chance to work with Caan on Elf before his passing. “Shocked. 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,” the comedian, 55, wrote via Twitter. “Funny, warm, self-deprecating, and effortlessly talented. They say never meet your heroes, but he proved that to be very very wrong.”
Ahead of his death, Caan reflected on his career and was still looking for more acting opportunities. “I want to do some really good character stuff,” he told The Independent in January 2021. “Henry Fonda always said he wanted to do a good picture before he passed away. He was never satisfied. I mean, I thought he did a couple of great pictures, you know? But now I get what he meant. I really want to work.”
The New York native added: “I taught an acting class for a couple of years here, which was fun and rewarding, but it’s not as much fun as doing it. I just want the opportunity, while I’m still walking, to do something that will have you calling me and saying, ‘Jimmy, that was really good.’ If you know any directors, tell ’em I’m ready.”
Scroll down to read more heartfelt tributes about the late star: