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James Caan was rarely a star. But he was a remarkable actor's actor who could hold his own among the greats

By Daryl Sparkes, Senior Lecturer (Media Studies and Production), University of Southern Queensland
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James Caan, who died last week at 82, was one of those actors who wouldn’t attract mass audiences to a movie just because he was in it. He wasn’t a “star” in the same way we see his contemporaries such as Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, Al Pacino or Robert De Niro.

In essence, Caan was an actor’s actor. He never cared for the trappings of stardom or desired the celebrity status so many other actors craved. He was into acting for one thing: the craft.

In the 1960s, actors were experimenting with their craft just as much as the youth culture around them was experimenting with…The Conversation


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