James Caan sadly passed away on July 6, but the instantly recognizable actor enjoyed an iconic career in Hollywood. The actor rose to household-name status in the 1970s with the iconic role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. He was nominated for four Golden Globes, an Emmy Award, and an Oscar over the span of his remarkably versatile career. From a comedic role in Elf to an iconic role in TV’s Las Vegas to voice gigs in The Simpsons and Family Guy, James proved he was capable of just about any genre in acting.
He also had an active family life, welcoming five children across four marriages. While the Misery star ultimately wound up single at the end of his life, he did find love through each stage of his career, first marrying Dee Jay Mathis in 1961. Find out everything you should know about James Caan’s four ex-wives below.
Dee Jay Mathis
James married actress Dee Jay Mathis in 1961, and it was a relatively short-lived affair. By 1966, they’d already divorced. But Dee and James did welcome a daughter, Tara Caan, 57, in 1964. The first child of the famous actor has largely stayed out of the limelight but reportedly has children of her own.
James’ years with Dee were pivotal ones for his career, as well. He appeared in his first film roles, including Lady in a Cage (1964,) and The Glory Guys (1965) during his first marriage.
Sheila Marie Ryan
James waited a decade to tie the knot again, this time to Sheila Marie Ryan in 1976. Sheila is known for appearing in movies including Road House (1989) and on the TV series Hunter. She was also the Playboy cover model in October 1973. But that union was even more short-lived, ending the following year in 1977. Sheila, a model, actress, and former girlfriend of Elvis Presley, gave birth to Scott Caan on August 23, 1976. Scott is perhaps James’ most recognizable child, and has appeared in the Ocean’s Eleven films, as well as Varsity Blues and Gone in 60 Seconds.
Sadly, Sheila passed away at age 60 in 2012.
The actor took another long break between marriages, this time marrying Ingrid Hajek in September 1990 in ritzy Marina Del Rey, California, per the Daily Mail. They’d fizzled out, too, by March 1994, but not before Ingrid, who works as a life coach, had their son Alexander James Caan, now 30, in 1991.
It was during James’ marriage to Ingrid that controversy erupted for the celebrated actor. Heidi Fleiss claimed in a Vanity Fair article in 1994 that she had a relationship with James, though he denied having anything to do with her. Heidi’s claims included visiting him on the 1992 set of Flesh and Bone in Texas.
James transitioned to his next marriage much more quickly, making things official in 1995 with actress and costume designer Linda Stokes — and this union had some staying power. It lasted over two decades before coming to a rocky halt. Still, Linda and James welcomed two sons, James Arthur Caan in 1995 and Jacob Nicholas Caan in 1998. The actor ended the marriage from his longtime wife in 2016. But according to the Daily Mail, he filed twice before, in both 2005 and 2009, before finally calling it quits for good.