‘The Godfather’: James Caan’s Corleone family pays tribute to ‘wildly gifted’ co-star

“The Godfather” family on Thursday paid tribute to fallen son James Caan, who played violent enforcer Sonny Corleone in the iconic 1972 film.

The movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won three, including for best picture and lead actor for Marlon Brando’s turn as Mafia boss Vito Corleone.

Caan, who died Wednesday at age 82, earned an Oscar nomination for his supporting role as the eldest son in Francis Ford Coppola’s film but ultimately lost to “Cabaret’s” Joel Grey. But Caan was in good company, nominated alongside his “Godfather” co-stars Al Pacino and Robert Duvall in the supporting actor category.

Francis Ford Coppola, director and producer: “Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known. 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. He will always be my old friend from Sunnyside, my collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.”

Talia Shire, Connie Corleone: “James was a good man, a kind man, a family man, and a wildly gifted man — whose great talent will always be loved and remembered. My prayers are with his family that he treasured so dearly.”

Al Pacino, Michael Corleone: “Jimmy was my fictional brother and my lifelong friend. 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.”

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