The Truth About James Caan's Ex-Wives

James Caan, beloved Hollywood actor who starred most famously in "The Godfather," "Misery," and "Elf," died on July 6, 2022, according to a statement released on Twitter. Although Caan has been a fixture of the film industry for decades, much of his personal life remains a mystery even after his death. It is well known that Caan was married and divorced four times throughout his life, though only one of these marriages lasted longer than four years. 

Caan is survived by his five children — Tara, Scott, Alexander, James, and Jacob. The youngest two, James and Jacob, have the same mother, Caan's latest wife (and longest lasting marriage), Linda Stokes. Caan and Stokes were married in 1995, though the year when their marriage officially ended is not always clear. From what we can tell, the couple separated at some point in the mid-2000s, according to Independent, and filed for divorce a few times over the years before officially ending the marriage in 2017, per The Guardian. 

As for the three other women Caan married, those relationships are even murkier. 

We don't know much about James Caan's four ex-wives

According to The Guardian, James Caan was married to Dee Jay Mathis from 1961 to 1966; Sheila Marie Ryan from 1975 to 1976; and to Ingrid Hajek from 1990 to 1994 before marrying Linda Stokes in 1995. 

Unfortunately for the curious, there's not much available information about any of these exes or their relationships with Caan. We did manage to round up an old Getty image showing Caan and Mathis together in 1966. As for wife number two — we know that before marrying Caan, Sheila Ryan was a Playboy model and one-time paramour of Elvis Presley, according to Elvis Australia. She was also the mother of the only of Caan's five children to follow him into acting, Scott Caan. 

It's been hardest of all to dig up any reliable information on Caan's third wife, Ingrid Hajek. The most we can say with any certainty is that she existed, and that she is the mother to one of Caan's children. He lived as a legend and his life, as private as it may have been, shall always be remembered.