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Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share heartfelt tributes to Godfather star James Caan

Francis Ford Coppola along with Hollywood legends Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have shared tributes to James Caan (Picture: Getty; Rex)

The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola as well as actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have shared emotional tributes to James Caan, who died at the age of 82.

The iconic actor’s death was confirmed in a statement on social media reading: ‘It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.

‘The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.’

Coppola, who first directed Caan in the 1969 feature film The Rain People, reunited with Caan three years later for the Hollywood sensation The Godfather.

In a statement to Deadline, Coppola shared: ‘Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known.

‘From those beginning times working on The Rain People, throughout all the milestones of my life.

The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola has shared an emotional tribute to James Caan (Picture: ABDELHAK SENNA / AFP)
His role in The Godfather has gone down in film history (Picture: CBS via Getty Images)
This year, they celebrated 50 years of the iconic film (Picture: Getty)

‘His films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten.

‘Old friend from Sunnyside, collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.’

Pacino shared in a statement: ‘Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend.

Al Pacino remembered his ‘fictional brother and lifelong friend’ (Picture: Paramount Pictures)

‘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’m gonna miss him.’

De Niro added: ‘I’m very very sad to hear about Jimmy’s passing.’

Caan’s role earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor (Picture: Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
James Caan, Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and John Cazale filming The Godfather 50 years ago (Picture: Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Caan continued to act until his death, and was due to film his fifth collaboration with Coppola, titled Megalopolis, this autumn.

In the 1972 cinema classic The Godfather, which celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, Caan appeared alongside Marlon Brando (Don Vito Corleone), Al Pacino (Michael), and Diane Keaton (Kay Adams).

Caan enjoyed a decades-long career (Picture: United Artists/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
Fans have been left heartbroken by his death (Picture: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Caan’s role earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor and he later reprised the role for The Godfather Part II with a cameo appearance at the end.

Tributes have poured in for the A Bridge Too Far star, including from the likes of Adam Sandler and Rob Reiner.

‘I was so saddened to hear about Jimmy leaving us,’ Reiner said. ‘I loved working with him. Besides being a talented instinctive actor, he was the only Jew I knew who could rope a calf with the best of them. Sending my love to his family.’

Actor Sandler, who starred with Caan in the 1996 film Bulletproof and the 2012 film That’s My Boy, said: ‘James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love.’

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MORE : James Caan’s most iconic roles following legendary actor’s death aged 82 – from The Godfather and Misery to Thief and Elf

MORE : Misery director Rob Reiner and Adam Sandler lead tributes to James Caan after death at age 82


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