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James Langston Edmund Caan (born March 26, 1940) is an American Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated American film, stage and television actor. He is known for his Academy Award nominated role of Sonny Corleone in 1972's The Godfather and for his role as Ed Deline on Las Vegas.
Caan began acting in television in such series as The Untouchables, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, "Kraft Suspense Theatre", "Combat!", Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, "The Wide Country", "Alcoa Premiere", "Route 66", and "Naked City". His first substantial film role was as a villain in the 1964 thriller Lady In A Cage. In 1967, Caan appeared in El Dorado with John Wayne. He first won praise for his role as a brain-damaged football player in The Rain People (1969), directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In 1971, Caan won more acclaim as dying football player Brian Piccolo in the television movie Brian's Song, which was later released in theaters. The following year, Coppola cast Caan as mobster Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, which also helped launch Al Pacino's career. Caan was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film.
From 1973-82, Caan appeared in many Hollywood films. He played a wide variety of roles. His films include Cinderella Liberty, Rollerball, Harry And Walter Go To New York, A Bridge Too Far, Comes A Horseman and Chapter Two (a play screenplay conversion by Neil Simon). In 1980, Caan directed Hide In Plain Sight a film about a father searching for his children lost in the Witness Protection Program. Despite critical praise, the film was not a hit with the public. The following year, Caan appeared in Thief, directed by Michael Mann, where he played a professional safe cracker. This film is today regarded as a neo-noir classic and Caan has often said it is the role he is proudest of next to The Godfather.
From 1982-87, Caan suffered from depression over his sister's death, a growing problem with cocaine, and what he described as "Hollywood burnout," did not act in any films. He returned to film in 1987 when Coppola cast him as an army platoon sergeant for the "Old Guard" in Gardens of Stone, a film that dealt with the effect of the Vietnam War on the homefront. In 1988 and 1990, Caan starred in the films Alien Nation, Dick Tracy and Misery (co-star Kathy Bates won a Best Actress Oscar). In 1992, Caan made the hit Honeymoon in Vegas. He co-starred with Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicolas Cage and spoofed his "Sonny Corleone" character from The Godfather.
In 1996, he appeared in the indie hit Bottle Rocket and pursued Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser. In 1999, Caan followed Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Powers Boothe and Danny Glover when he portrayed Philip Marlowe in the HBO film Poodle Springs. Some of his most recent appearances have been in The Yards (2000), City of Ghosts (2002), Dogville (2003), and Elf (2003).
In 2003, he auditioned and won the role of the head security officer 'Big Ed' Deline in Las Vegas. On February 27, 2007, Caan announced that he would not return to Las Vegas for the show's fifth season in order to return to film work. That same year, he was replaced by Tom Selleck.
Rumor has it that Caan will be playing director Raoul Walsh in an upcoming film about his life.
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