Beloved actor James Caan died this week, and now Alec Baldwin has opened up about his friendship with the star, saying Caan's health was "not great" over the "last five years." Following the news of Caan's death, Baldwin — who briefly worked with Caan on the early 2000's NBC series Las Vegas — took to Instagram to share a lengthy video in which he spoke fondly of the late Holywood icon, referring to Caan as a "real sweetheart." Baldwin also praised Caan's assistant Mike Kijanski for being "one of a handful of people who kept Jimmy alive the last five years, because Jimmy's health was not great."
Baldwin went on to say that Caan was not like the intimidating characters he played, and that in real life he was a very kind man. He added with a laugh, "Jimmy Caan, he taught me how to swear." Baldwin also joked, "It's an inflection, it's an emphasis." The actor also said, "He was a sweetie. He was a sweet guy. Very kind to me. And I loved him. He was a good guy." In a comment on Baldwins' post, comedian and actress Amy Sedaris wrote, "I was really looking forward to hear what you had to say about James Caan. Thank you! He was a pussycat." Sedaris starred opposite Caan in the holiday classic Elf.
On Thursday, Caan's family issued a message via the late actor's personal Twitter account, sharing the news that he'd passed away. "It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6," the statement read. "The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."
In addition to Baldwin, many other stars have come out to mourn Caan's death, including actress Molly Sims, who played his daughter in Las Vegas. "I could not be more proud than to have played his daughter," she wrote in an Instagram post. "He was tough as nails on me but taught me the art of acting and I felt so lucky to go to 'acting school' with him every week. (though I'm not sure he felt the same lol) He was a legend."
"His stories were legendary. His acting was like playing tennis," Sims continued. "I never knew what he would throw back to me in a scene, but boy did it make me better than I ever thought I could be. (FYI I still use my hands too much lol). You made those around you better, and you were the best TV dad I could've had. You will be so missed. Rip my friend."