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Actor James Caan's important lesson about expressing love as a parent: 'I tell my son I love him'

James Caan and son, Scott Caan had a strained relationship but made peace with time. Scott Caan said he looked up to his father.

Actor James Caan's important lesson about expressing love as a parent: 'I tell my son I love him'
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 22: Actors James Caan and Scott Caan at Paramount Studios on March 22, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Actor James Caan longed for the approval and affection of his father but didn't get it, and he vowed never to make the same mistake with his children. "The Godfather" actor, who passed away on Wednesday, spoke about parenting and why it's important to not carry over negative traits from one's parents. While James Caan might have played characters that bordered on toxic masculinity, he was a sensitive person in his private life and didn't shy away from expressing himself. He spoke about the importance of being sensitive and loving as a parent. "I never saw my dad cry. My son saw me cry. My dad never told me he loved me, and consequently, I told Scott I loved him every other minute. The point is, I'll make less mistakes than my dad, my sons hopefully will make less mistakes than me, and their sons will make less mistakes than their dads," he told Esquire in 2003. "And one of these days, maybe we'll raise a perfect Caan," he joked. Scott Caan is also an actor and is known for roles in "Hawaii Five-0," "Varsity Blues" and "Ocean's Eleven."

HOLLYWOOD - DECEMBER 8: Actors Scott Caan (L) and father James Caan attend the after party for Warner Bros. premiere of the film "Ocean's Twelve" at The Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex December 8, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri\Getty Images)


James Cann's death was announced from his Twitter account. "It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6," read the tweet. "The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time." James Caan has been married four times and is survived by five children—Scott, James, Jacob, Alexander and Tara. Scott Caan and James Caan had a rocky relationship but they patched up later and made peace with it. James Caan was also battling a drug abuse issue when Scott was growing up.


Scott also spoke about his relationship with his Dad. "To say our relationship wasn't dysfunctional would be a lie," he said in 2010, reported PEOPLE. James also talked about not being the best version of himself. "He saw me when I was a little rough around the edges," said James Caan. Even as he was battling drug abuse, Scott was always around him. "I went through some bad times. I lost my sister and I got a little goofy and I got on drugs — coke — and I went through all of that. He was attached to my hip," James said of Scott. "Now, we're really best buddies. ... I'm proud that he's grown up so well," added James. Scott was born to James Cann and his ex-wife Sheila. Scott has also made peace with their relationship, saying he had no resentment toward his father. "He made mistakes that affected him — and me — but he's always been there for me no matter what," said Scott. The pair also starred together in the 2009 movie "Mercy."

HOLLYWOOD - MAY 03: (L-R) Actors James Caan, Scott Caan and actress Wendy Glenn attend the "Mercy" film premiere at the Egyptian Theater on May 3, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


Scott also spoke about proudly about his father's will to repeatedly give life a shot. "My dad is a good example of someone who digs into life and goes, 'Yeah, that tore my heart out, but I'm going to try again,'" Scott told Los Angeles Times in 2010. James is a big believer in prioritizing family. "The best advice I give to young actors … was what comes first is my family and my friends. No matter what heights you achieve in this business, what is inevitable in every single case is there is a slide backwards," said James. "Those people who've put all their eggs in the basket where it's everything, those are the people who hurt themselves. They get drugged out, they get really destructive. I'm not saying you shouldn't be the best. But when things go bad, he's got to have his dad, his girlfriend. He's got to have his brothers."



James Caan also faced criticism for a stay at the Playboy Mansion, where he said he had Scott 'bring' him girls. "To get over my divorce, I got a prescription to live at the Playboy Mansion for a while," said the actor. "I'd have Scott bring me girls," said the actor. "No one could say no to a cute little boy," added Caan.


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