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THE YARDS

JAMES CAAN, one of the most versatile actors in motion pictures, is best known for his Academy Award-nominated performance as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather," and for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of football star Brian Piccalo in "Brian's Song.

Appearing in more than 50 feature films over the course of his career, Caan also earned great recognition starring in Rob Reiner's highly successful and critically acclaimed film "Misery," a psychological thriller based on the novel by Stephen King, and "For The Boys," a romantic drama co-starring Bette Midler. He was equally praised for his performance as a brain damaged football star in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People," garnering him the Best Actor Award from the San Sebastian Film Festival. Caan also received the Actor of the Year honor by the National Association of Theater owners at NATO's Showest for his role in "The Gambler."

Born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, New York, Caan knew early on that he did not want to follow in his father's footsteps and work in the family meat business. He entered Michigan State University at age sixteen to study economics and to play football. He transferred to Hofstra University to study law and, during a spring break, was interviewed by and accepted to Stanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse. Caan then won a scholarship to study with Wynn Handman, and went on to get the first four jobs he auditioned for in the theater.

Caan began his career on stage in the 1961 off-Broadway production of "La Ronde." He followed with a powerful slate of guest appearances in virtually every major television series.

Caan's other film credits include "Cinderella Liberty," "Funny Lady," "A Bridge Too Far," "Thief," "T.R. Baskin," "Slither," "Silent Movie," "Rollerball," "The Killer Elite," "Another Man, Another Chance," "Comes a Horseman," "Gardens of Stone," "Alien Nation," "Flesh and Bone," "The Program," "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Eraser," and "Mickey Blue Eyes." He directed and starred in the highly acclaimed film "Hide in Plain Sight." Also, upcoming this year will be Artisan Entertainment's "Way of the Gun," with Ryan Phillippe.

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