James Caan's Tweet About Ray Liotta Is Even More Heartbreaking Now

As millions mourn the tragic death of James Cann, many remember him for his iconic role as a gangster. Caan became legendary as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" alongside Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall. Caan was so good at playing a gangster that some people accused him of being in the mafia. 

In a 2004 interview with Vanity Fair (via New York Times), Caan said, "I've been accused so many times ... I won 'Italian of the Year' twice in New York, and I'm not Italian." According to The Times, the Queens-born actor is Jewish but got his "bad boy" reputation after getting married and divorced four times, and for his run-ins with the police, as well as testifying on behalf of one of his friends from Queens.

The cast of The Godfather were intertwined with their mobster characters

In 2011, the New York Post reported that James Caan's old friend Andrew Russo was accused of being part of a Brooklyn mafia gang. The two were so tight that Russo was the actual godfather of the actor's son, Scott. Caan showed his loyalty when he told the Post, "My friendship with Andrew Russo dates back over 35 years, and I've only known him to be as good a friend as anyone could be to me and my family."

"The Godfather" crew, along with actors Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Paul Sorvino from "Goodfellas," are among the most iconic gangster characters in modern movie history. For this reason, Caan's tweet after his friend Liotta died is even more heartbreaking now.

James Caan spoke for fans after Ray Liotta died

James Caan's simple message after the death of Ray Liotta gutted fans and spoke for millions. On May 26, Caan tweeted, "Not Ray" with a broken heart emoji. After the news of "The Godfather" star's death, some returned to Caan's tweet to pay tribute. One fan tweeted a broken heart emoji with the message, "Not you." Another fan noted the gap left by Caan and Liotta's deaths, tweeting, "It's like God is putting the greatest mob movie together." 

While the "Thief" star played many tough-guy roles, the outpouring of stories and tributes about the 82-year-old actor shows how beloved he was in the Hollywood community. The tough guy appeared to have a big heart, and people loved him for it. Actor Gary Sinise commented, "Jimmy was so supportive of Gary Sinise Foundation & my work w/ our veterans." Comedian Andy Richter also tweeted, "They say never meet your heroes, but he [Caan] proved that to be very wrong." 

Caan's "Las Vegas" co-star Josh Duhamel isn't known for being the touchy-feely type, but the actor posted an emotional video after learning about Caan's death. He took to his Instagram Story on July 7, with a tearful Duhamel saying (via Hollywood Life),  "One of the kindest, coolest, funniest people I've ever met." He added, "One of my mentors. You'll be missed, Jimmy Caan. I love you." Beyond his co-stars and industry friends, those who knew "The Godfather" actor best show the depth of Caan's legacy.

James Caan prioritized his family

James Caan starred in some iconic movies, but off-screen, The Washington Post reported about the actor's many hobbies including karate and roping steers. James joked, "I was the only Jewish cowboy from New York on the professional rodeo cowboy circuit." But in a 2011 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the "Godfather" star and his son Scott Caan showed where the famous actor's heart was. Scott explained that acting wasn't the priority for his dad, saying, "Not that he didn't love it, but his family was more important." The elder Cann summed up the importance of family to the outlet, "The best advice I give to young actors ... was what comes first is my family and my friends. No matter what heights you achieve in this business, what is inevitable in every single case is there is a slide backwards."

The "Brian's Song" star noted that actors who put everything into work are "people who hurt themselves." James added, "I'm not saying you shouldn't be the best. But when things go bad, he's got to have his dad, his girlfriend. He's got to have his brothers."

The highest praise as a parent is when your kids look up to you. In a 2017 interview with The Fall, Scott talked about his dad, "When you're young, you don't see your father as a legend, you just know that he's an interesting, colorful, wild kinda cat and you think, 'I want to be like that guy.'"