James Caan (born March 26, 1940) is an American actor. He is best-known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado. He also starred as "Big Ed" Deline in the television series Las Vegas.
Caan was born in The Bronx, New York City, the son of Sophie and Arthur Caan, Jewish immigrants from Germany. His father was a meat dealer. Caan grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, New York City. He was educated at P.S. 150 40-01 43rd Avenue School in Queens, at the private Rhodes Preparatory School, also in New York City, and then attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, studying economics. Caan played college football at MSU, as quarterback for the Spartan freshman team in 1956. He later transferred to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, but did not graduate. However, while studying at Hofstra University, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed for, accepted to and graduated from New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, where one of his instructors was Sanford Meisner.
Caan began his acting career in television on such series as The Untouchables, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Combat!, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, The Wide Country, Alcoa Premiere, Route 66, and Naked City. In 1964, he starred as Jewish athlete Jeff Brubaker in the episode "My Son, the All-American" of Channing, a drama about college life.