James Caan was so passionate about watching his son, Scott Caan, grow up that he made a big sacrifice to his career. He had a change of heart after losing his best friend and manager.
On July 7, 2022, James Caan’s family took to his Twitter account to share the devastating news about his death. The star’s family revealed that the actor had passed away the previous evening.
“The Godfather” actor was 82 at the time of his death. His family thanked his fans and followers for their heartfelt messages before asking that they continue respecting their privacy as they mourned.
In the post, James’ family called him “Jimmy” and shared how they announced his passing with “great sadness.” The star lived a full life before he died, having married four times.
His first wife was actress Dee Jay Mathis whom he married in 1961 before their divorce after five years of marriage. The couple welcomed a daughter, Tara, during their union that ended in 1966.
After his first marriage concluded, James fell in love with Playboy model Sheila Ryan, and they tied the knot in 1976. The couple welcomed a son, Scott, during their brief marriage that ended in 1977.
By 1990, the late actor had moved on to Ingrid Hajek. James was 20 years older than his bride, and they had one child, a son, Alexander, together before divorcing a few years later in 1994.
The star’s last marriage was to Linda Stokes, whom he married in 1995. The couple stayed together for twenty years, and the union was the one that took the most toll on the actor because of court battles.
Stokes took the star to court multiple times, including for backdated child support and custody, as they shared two sons, James Jr. and Jacob. James filed for divorce from her twice, in 2005 and 2009, before the final filing in 2015.
When he was cast to star in “Apocalypse Now,” James turned the role down because it coincided with Ryan’s pregnancy with Scott. The star described the boy as his “dream child.”
The actor gave up a house with a maid in Manilla, and flights to the jungle location of the shoot in a helicopter, to be there for his pregnant wife. James told the movie’s producer that he hated tsetse flies and heights.
He refused to be away from his wife for six months while she was pregnant. James’ life changed drastically when Barbara, his sister, passed away at age 38 after battling leukemia for a long time.
The actor was left devastated by her death and felt “vulnerable and despondent.” He described her as his manager and best friend, who lived close to him while running his production company.
James confessed that his sister was the only person he was afraid of. After her death, the star realized how important passion was because it was something that could end quickly, noting:
“My passion was to grow up with my son.”
According to Scott, James didn’t work on many films while growing up; the star stopped his career for fifteen years! From age five until fifteen, Scott didn’t know his father as an actor but just as his parent.
The actor’s son got his undivided attention as James would hang out with him. Scott recalled his father as “rebellious” and that his life was filled with ups and downs, but to him, he was just his father.
The younger Caan didn’t know the big star everyone else knew and never saw James’ movies as a child because they were R-rated. Scott only saw “The Godfather” when he was 11.
In the scene where his father’s character was shot, James’ son got upset and found it weird before turning the film off. Scott didn’t like seeing his father that way, but he later appreciated his work and thought James rocked!