James Caan, the gritty actor who became known to a generation of film fans for his Oscar-nominated performance as Sonny Corleone in 'The Godfather' has passed away at the age of 82.

The actor passed away on July 6th, and the news was confirmed in a statement on his Twitter account by his family.

The tweet reads "It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6."

"The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."

Caan shot to fame for his Oscar-nominated turn in 'The Godfather' as Sonny Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's crime epic, and is also well-known for his lead performance opposite an Oscar-winning Kathy Bates in 'Misery'.

'Misery' director Rob Reiner led the tributes, saying he "loved working with him."

Caan helped launch the career of 'Heat' director Michael Mann, with Caan playing the lead role of Frank in Mann's debut.

The actor is also a staple of Christmas culture, with the actor also memorably appearing in the Will Ferrell comedy 'Elf' as the father of Buddy The Elf.

At his peak in the 1970s, Caan turned down a number of roles that later went on to become some of the most iconic roles in film history, such as Jack Nicholson's role in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', the role of 'Superman' in the 1978 film, 'Blade Runner', and most notably, Dustin Hoffman's role in 'Kramer versus Kramer', famously dubbing it "middle-class baloney."

Caan had intended to reunite with director Francis Ford Coppola for his upcoming epic 'Megalopolis', which is due to begin filming this year.

Paying tribute to Caan, Coppola said "Jimmy was someone who stretched through my life longer and closer than any motion picture figure I’ve ever known."

"From those beginning times working on 'The Rain People, throughout all the milestones of my life. His films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten. Old friend from Sunnyside, collaborator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever known," he added.