James Caan went to school at the Michigan State University and the Hofstra College at Long Island. After this, he went to the stage training at the Neighbourhood Playhouse, followed by his d?but in 1961 in the off-Broadway-piece 'La Ronde'. He could combine his Broadway-activities with his work at a TV-station until he made his real movie d?but in 1961.
As height in his first movies, we remember his role as the mentally defective football-player in Francis Ford Coppola's "The rain people" uit 1969.
Playing Sonny Corleone in "The godfather", he was making it among "the big guys". In 1980, besides his role in the movie, he took place in the director's chair for "Hide in plain sight".