Heart problems are listed as Cann’s cause of death. Specifically, a “myocardial infarction,” commonly called a heart attack is listed as the primary cause, estimated to have started five hours before his death. He’d been diagnosed with coronary artery disease (a.k.a. heart disease) three years earlier, which is also noted as a cause of death on the certificate, which was obtained by TMZ on Saturday, July 23.
The official document lists “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” (COPD) and “congestive heart failure” as secondary factors.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6,” Caan’s family wrote in a Twitter statement on Thursday, July 7. “The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Caan, who passed away at the age of 82, is survived by his four sons — Scott, James, Jacob and Alexander — and his daughter, Tara.
The late Bronx, New York, native notably portrayed Santino “Sonny” Corleone in 1972’s The Godfather, which earned him a coveted Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes later that year.
“Well, it feels, to me, great. I mean, I’m happy there’s something they can remember about me,” Caan — who made a brief cameo in The Godfather: Part II — recalled of the film during an April interview with Collider. “Yeah, I’m very proud of it, and I’m very proud of Francis [Ford Coppola, the director]. The cast was great. And that just added to my one big thing about making a good movie.”
He added at the time: “If you get people together that like one another and genuinely like each other and have a good time, invariably the movie is good and better. And I think audiences can tell that they like each other while they’re watching the film. … And I think it makes it a better film. And we all liked each other and had a great time.”
The El Dorado actor went on to appear in films such as The Gambler, A Bridge Too Far, Misery, Bottle Rocket, City of Ghosts and Get Smart.
Upon the Elf star’s death, many Hollywood performers paid tribute to his legacy.
Forrest Gump actor Gary Sinise also shared his condolences via Twitter at the time, writing, “Very sad to hear the news that James Caan has died. Heartbroken for his family & his friends. Wonderful to know him & call him a pal. Jimmy was so supportive of Gary Sinise Foundation & my work w/ our veterans. He will be missed. Thank you, my friend. Rest In Peace. God bless you.”