Meet Sheila Marie Ryan Who Was James Caan’s Wife Before Her Death

Sheila Marie Ryan was the wife of James Caan, an American actor. They were married for about one year, from 1976 to 1977, before divorcing. During their time together, they welcomed one child, Scott Caan, who has followed his father’s steps to become an actor.

James Caan’s ex-wife was a distinguished American actress and model. Born on September 17, 1952, in Franklin Park, Illinois, she died at the age of 60 on September 18, 2012. Throughout her prime, she stood out as one of the most accomplished actresses, gaining recognition for her notable performances in films such as Road House, Lone Star Blue, Shelter from the Storm, and Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell.

Who was Sheila Marie Ryan?

Sheila Marie Ryan was an American actress and model born on September 17, 1952, in Franklin Park, Illinois. Her parents were Gerard Ryan (father) and Arlene Ryan (mother). She had four siblings – an older brother named Mike Ryan and three younger sisters. She was the second child in the family. She attended East Leyden High in Franklin Park and completed her studies in 1971. After that, she joined theater courses at North Hollywood’s Playhouse West, where she enrolled in theatre courses.

Sheila Marie Ryan was Married to James Caan for One Year

Sheila Marie Ryan was married to James Caan, a famous actor known for movies and TV shows like The Godfather, Misery, and Elf, Vegas, Hawaii Five-0, and The Sopranos. The couple met in 1975 through a mutual friend and married a year later in 1976. However, like most couples in the industry, things were tough, leading to a divorce in 1977.

During their marriage, they welcomed a son named Scott Caan, born on August 23, 1976, who is now 47 years old and working in the entertainment industry. After months of separation, Sheila and James reconciled briefly, got engaged on Christmas Eve in 1977, but broke up again a few weeks later. Despite the on-and-off relationship, they separated for good in 1977.

In the divorce settlement, Sheila received $3,000 monthly for five years and custody of their son Scott. She also got $1,000 monthly in child support for Scott until he turned 18.

Sheila Marie Ryan
image source

Before marrying James Caan, Sheila Marie was romantically involved with the famous American entertainer and songwriter Elvis Presley. They first met in Las Vegas when Elvis playfully threw a grape at her, possibly as a unique way to introduce himself. Later that day, Elvis’s manager contacted Sheila, revealing that Elvis wanted to take her out. They dated for two years after Elvis’s relationship with Linda Thompson.

During their relationship, Sheila inspired one of Elvis’s songs, “And I Love You So,” where he affectionately referred to her as “my adoration.” Despite their romantic history, they eventually went their separate ways.

Sheila Marie Ryan’s Movies 

Sheila Marie Ryan’s career in the entertainment industry displayed her versatility; from dancing to modeling to eventually acting, she captivated the audience with her talents. Her rise to stardom began when she graced the cover of Playboy in October 1973, a skit that catapulted her to the limelight, setting the stage for her move to the big screen. 

With standout performances in movies like “Road House,” Sheila quickly became a notable figure in Hollywood. She demonstrated her acting prowess in films such as “Hunter” (1984), “Lone Star Blue” (1994), and “Shelter from the Storm” (1994). Additionally, she made occasional appearances and had a recurring role on the television show “Follow That Man.”

Sheila had a diverse acting career. Whether in a major or minor role, she showcased her versatility as an actress. Her performances were top-notch, placing her among Hollywood’s best. One of her most iconic roles was in the film “Road House,” a cult classic that highlighted her acting range with a captivating mix of action and drama. Her performance was both powerful and vulnerable, earning praise from critics and fans. 

During the 1980s television renaissance, Sheila’s film “Hunter” stood out at the forefront of this transformative period. Her role in the series added depth to the storyline, making it a must-watch for fans.

In the ever-changing world of Hollywood, where fame can be fleeting, Sheila Marie Ryan’s legacy remains strong. Sheila didn’t just act; she made a lasting impact on Hollywood. Although years have passed since her untimely passing, Sheila Marie Ryan’s memory is vivid.

Here are some of Sheila Marie Ryan’s Movies:

  1. Road House: (1989)
  2. Hunter: (1980)
  3. Lone Star Blue (1994)
  4. Shelter from the Storm (1994)
  5. The Big Sleep
  6. The Set-Up
  7. Red River
Sheila Marie Ryan
image source – Sheila Marie Ryan and Scott Caan

Sheila Caan’s Cause of Death

Sheila passed away from cancer on September 18, 2012, at the age of 60. She first learned about the illness when she was at the height of her acting career. Despite the challenges, Sheila confronted the disease with the same strength and determination that characterized her career. She faced it bravely, finding support from her loved ones during the difficult times.

Sheila Marie Ryan said goodbye to the world on September 18, 2012, in Canoga Park, California. She passed away while facing the painful challenges of cancer. This marked the end of her fight against cancer as she was laid to rest in Oakwood Memorial Park near Lassen St, Chatsworth, California.

What Type of Cancer did Sheila Caan Have? 

The specific type of cancer Sheila Caan had has not been disclosed. All that was shared publicly was that she faced a cancer diagnosis during her prime, and she bravely fought against it, clinging to life until September 18, 2012, when she peacefully passed away at the age of 60 after a prolonged battle with the illness.

She led a fulfilling life as those who knew her recall her as a resilient mother who inspired Scott Caan to pursue acting, providing him with valuable guidance. She left behind her only son, Scott Caan, whom she had with her ex-partner, James Caan. 

She is also survived by her mother, Arlene, three sisters, and a brother. About a decade after her passing, her ex-husband, James Caan, also departed on July 6, 2022, at the age of 82, though the exact cause of his death remains unknown.


What was Sheila Caan’s height? 

Sheila Caan has a height of 5 feet 5 inches, which is equivalent to 165 cm.

How did Sheila Caan die? 

The actress battled cancer for an extended period and eventually succumbed to it in September 2012. The actress battled cancer for an extended period and eventually succumbed to it in September 2012.

How Many Times did James Caan Marry? 

James Caan tied the knot four times during his life. His first marriage was to Dee Jay Mathis, then Sheila Marie Ryan, Ingrid Hajek, and Linda Stokes.

How Many Wives and Children did James Caan Have?

James Caan had four wives and five children. His children include Tara from his marriage to Dee Jay Mathis, Scott from his union with Sheila Maria Ruam, Alexander James Caan from his relationship with Ingrid Hajek, and James Arthur Caan and Jacob Nicholas Caan from his marriage to Linda Stokes.

Chizzy Onukogu
Chizzy Onukogu
Chizitere is a writer and editor with over five years of experience in producing articles on various subjects. My writings have been published on multiple websites and publications


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