James Caan’s cause of death confirmed

James Caan posing in tinted glasses and a dark suit.
James Caan attends a 2016 event for the Hallmark Channel in Beverly Hills.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP)

Actor James Caan died of a heart attack and coronary artery disease, according to his death certificate.

Caan, best known for his Oscar-nominated turn as Sonny Corleone in 1972’s “The Godfather,” died on July 6 at 82. The veteran performer also played standout roles in 1982’s “Kiss Me Goodbye,” 1975’s “Funny Lady,” 1990’s “Misery” and 2003’s “Elf.”

For the record:

8:17 a.m. July 25, 2022A previous version of this story said the Los Angeles County medical examiner provided the cause of Caan’s death. The cause of death was determined by Caan’s doctor, according to the L.A. County medical examiner.

Caan’s death was confirmed “with great sadness” by his family July 7 on Twitter.

In a statement to The Times, Caan’s publicist said his “family appreciates the outpouring of condolences from his friends and fans from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”


James Caan, who was Oscar-nominated for his portrayal of hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather,” died Wednesday night, his family announced.

Shortly after his death, Caan was remembered fondly by his “Godfather” co-stars and director Francis Ford Coppola, who called his collaborator “one of the funniest people” he’s ever known.

“Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known,” Coppola said in a statement. “From those earlier times working together on ‘The Rain People’ and throughout all the milestones of my life, his films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten.”

“Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend,” said Al Pacino, who played Michael Corleone in the “Godfather” films. “It’s hard to believe that he won’t be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director and my dear friend. I loved him, gonna miss him.”

‘The Godfather’ director Francis Ford Coppola, stars Al Pacino, Talia Shire and ‘Part II’ actor Robert De Niro salute James Caan, who died Wednesday.