Actor James Caan, star of films including The Godfather and the Elf, has died at the age of 82.

His family said in a Twitter statement: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of Jimmy’s disappearance on the evening of July 6.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of love and the deepest condolences and asks to continue to respect their privacy in this difficult time. End of the tweet”.

Caan was born in 1940 in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany.

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Image: AP

Eager to avoid following his father into the meat trade, he initially pursued a career in American football but became interested in acting while in college.

His big break came in 1972 when he played the reckless and rowdy Sonny in The Godfather, a role that saw him nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Golden Globe.

He reprized the role in The Godfather II.

Caan also earned an Emmy nomination as a cancer patient Chicago Bears star Brian Piccolo in ABC’s Brian’s Song.

James Caan (center right) as Sonny Corleone with his Godfather co-stars - Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and John Cazale
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James Caan (center right) as Sonny Corleone with his Godfather co-stars – Al Pacino (l), Marlon Brando and John Cazale (r)
James Caan (left) with Will Ferrell in Elf
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James Caan (left) with Will Ferrell in Elf

Other appearances included Honeymoon In Vegas, Bulletproof, Mickey Blue Eyes, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, and the Christmas comedy Elf, in which he played Will Ferrell’s businessman father.

Caan was married four times, most recently to Linda Stokes between 1995 and 2017.

He had five children, one of whom – Scott – followed him into acting, appearing in Ocean’s Eleven, Gone In 60 Seconds and the reboot of Hawaii Five-0.

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