James Caan, The Godfather star, dies at 82

American actor James Caan, who played Sonny Corleone in the mafia epic The Godfather, has breathed his last at the age of 82.

James Caan's family broke the news of his sad demise on his Twitter account Thursday, saying:

“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.”

Caan cut a swathe through Hollywood in the 1970s and early 80s, before abruptly

quitting acting and for what the actor described a “pretty scary period”

disappearing from public view, before engineering a comeback in the late 1980s,

winning acclaim for films such as Misery, The Yards and Elf.