James Caan death: Actor’s cause of death revealed as a heart attack

James Caan’s cause of death has been revealed as a heart attack.

The Hollywood actor died aged 82 on 6 July. The news was announced by his family on the star’s official Twitter page the following day.

A cause of death was not revealed at the time.

The late actor’s death certificate, however, has since revealed the cause of death to be myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack.

The document, which was obtained by TMZ, states that coronary artery disease was also a contributing factor in the actor’s death.

The death certificate adds that Caan suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties) and congestive heart failure.

Caan has been buried at Eden Memorial Park in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

Caan’s credits include The Godfather (1972), Stephen King adaptation Misery (1990) and Christmas film Elf (2003).

His Hollywood career began in the 1960s, following roles in films from directors Howard Hawks (El Dorado, 1966), Robert Altman (Countdown, 1967) and Francis Ford Coppola (The Rain People, 1969).

In the Seventies, Coppola cast him as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, which led to an Oscar nomination. Caan returned for a brief appearance in the 1974 sequel.

While the actor was initially cast as Michael Corleone, he had his heart set on Sonny and successfully suggested that Al Pacino play the role of Michael instead. He eventually faced his co-star alongside another Godfather actor, Robert Duvall, in the Best Supporting Actor category at the 1973 Oscars; all three lost to Joel Grey, who won for Cabaret.

Caan told The Independent in January 2021: “I really do wish I had an Academy Award. But listen, here’s what you gotta know. Number one: anybody who gets cancer [in a movie] automatically wins the Academy Award that year. Number two: I sound like I’m bitter, and I am!”

The actor’s earlier credits include The Gambler (1974), Rollerball (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and the early Michael Mann film Thief (1982). In 1996 he starred in the Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket, and also featured in films starring Arnold Schwarenegger (Eraser) and Adam Sandler (Bulletproof).

Caan was married four times, and had five children, including actor Scott Caan.