Meet Dee Jay Mathis – James Caan’s Ex-wife

Dee Jay Mathis is the ex-wife of James Caan, the legendary American actor who is one of the stars of The Godfather films. Mathis and Caan first met each other at a time when they were both struggling actors in the late 50s. They struck up a relationship and later wed in 1961. The couple were married for five years, during which they welcomed one daughter named Tara. They later divorced in 1966.

Summary of Dee Jay Mathis’ Biography

  • Full name: Dorothy Jeanne Mathis
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of birth: 1961
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Age: 83 years old
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Sexual Orientation: straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: divorced
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ ex-Husband: James Caan
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Children: Tara A. Caan
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Height in Inches: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Height in Centimetres: 170
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Weight: 60 kg
  • Dee Jay Mathis’ Net worth: $500K
  • Famous for: James Caan’s first wife

Dee Jay Mathis is a Native of Union, New Jersey

Dee Jay Mathis was born in the year 1941 in the town of Union, New Jersey. She has American nationality and Caucasian ethnicity. Her real name is Dorothy Jeanne Mathis. There is a lack of details about Mathis’ family background, but it is believed that she has at least one sibling, a sister.

Dee Jay Mathis spent her formative years in places such as New Jersey and most likely achieved a reasonable degree of high school education. She then decided to explore her love for dancing as well as other performing arts. That decision motivated her to move out to Los Angeles in her late teens in the 50s to look for better opportunities.

Dee Jay Mathis
Dee Jay Mathis and James Caan in the 60s Image Source

Dee Jay Mathis and James Caan Began Dating in 1959 and Wed in 1961

Dee Jay Mathis first met James Caan in Los Angeles in 1959. At that time, he was not yet famous. He was still a struggling actor, just like her, and was attending acting school. They, therefore, found kindred spirits in each other and became friends. They later started dating. The couple dated for two years before they got engaged. Their nuptials then followed.

Dee Jay Mathis married James Caan in 1961 in Los Angeles. The wedding ceremony was a modest affair but was nevertheless beautiful. Their family members and closest friends were in attendance to watch them exchange their vows.

Their Marriage Lasted for Five Years and They Welcomed a Daughter

Dee Jay Mathis’ marriage to James Caan lasted for five years. During this period, they welcomed one child together; a daughter named Tara, who was born on the 5th of November 1964.  They also tried to pursue their various careers. Caan was able to make headway in his while Mathis’ stalled.

She, however, did not have many complaints as she lived a full life. She doted on her husband and daughter. The family also lived a comfortable life as her husband’s fortunes improved. She and her husband also gained celebrity status, and she accompanied him to various red carpet and industry events, including the 1966 edition of the Golden Globes.

Dee Jay Mathis
James Caan and 4th ex-wife, Linda Stokes Image Source

She Became James Caan’s Ex-wife in 1966 and they Parted Ways Amicably

Dee Jay Mathis and James Caan had a good marriage by all accounts, but they later experienced issues like any other couple out there. They did their best to get over these issues, but their efforts failed, and they filed for divorce in 1966. The divorce was achieved without much rancor, and the couple went their separate ways.

Mathis and Caan never expressly revealed the reason for their divorce and this has led to speculations. It is possible that James Caan and Dee Jay Mathis divorced as a result of the former’s busy schedule. This is quite plausible as Caan’s career bloomed after he had gotten hitched to Mathis. This would have led to a busy schedule that may have made it difficult for him and Mathis to have quality time together. Such a situation could have induced a divorce, but it must be pointed out that this remains in the realm of speculation.

Dee Jay Mathis
James Caan and son, Scott Caan (born by his second wife)Image Source

She is a Dancer and Actress and Featured in a Handful of Theatrical Productions and TV shows

While it is hard to tell what Dee Jay Mathis does for a living presently, she was a professional dancer as well as an actress back in the day. Her professional credits include the Mitch Miller Show, where she reportedly performed as a dancer around 1959. Mitch Miller was an American choral conductor, record producer, record-industry executive, and professional oboist who hosted a popular sing-along show on NBC.

Dee Jay Mathis is also credited as a cast member for the theatrical production First Impressions. The Play opened on the 19th of March 1959, and Mathis was part of the original dancing ensemble. She also held down an understudy position for a character known as Kitty Bennett. Dee Jay Mathis was able to build up a small career for herself, but she never became as popular as her ex-husband – James Caan.

A native New Yorker, James Caan initially had hopes of playing college football but later ditched it in favor of acting in the early 60s. He made his debut on Broadway before proceeding to bit parts in movies and TV series. He eventually got his breakthrough by playing a brain-damaged football player in the 1969 film, The Rain People.

Other movies followed and James Caan went on to land the iconic role of Sonny Corleone, the skirt-chasing, hot-tempered elder brother in The Godfather. His performance fetched him an Oscar nomination for best actor. James Caan remains most iconic for his The Godfather role to date, but he did feature in several other movies and TV series such as Cinderella Liberty, Rollerball, A Bridge Too Far, Las Vegas, Back in the Game Etc.

Dee Jay Mathis Has Lived a Private Life Out of the Spotlight Since the Divorce

Following her divorce from James Caan, Dee Jay Mathis slipped out of the spotlight. Even as her ex-husband grew more famous, she focused on living a normal life away from the prying eyes of the public.

This makes it difficult to gain an insight into her present life or what she is up to. It is highly likely that Dee Jay Mathis presently lives in the United States, but the exact city is unknown. It is also not known what career she pursued after her acting stalled or her current marital status.

It is, however, possible that Dee Jay Mathis likely remarried following her divorce from James Caan. She may have also had more kids, but none of this is confirmed though. The situation is further complicated by the fact that her daughter, Tara, loves living her own life out of the public glare as well. If the opposite is the case, then she may have given insights into her mother’s life.


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