James Cagney

Birth name: James Francis Cagney Jr.

Hair Color: Red

Eye Color: Brown

Height: 5' 6"

Nickname: "The Professional Againster"

Quote: "I'm sick of guns and beating up women. Movies should be entertaining, not bloodbaths."

James Francis Cagney Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American actor and dancer, both on stage and in film, though he had his greatest impact in film. Known for his consistently energetic performances, distinctive vocal style, and deadpan comic timing, he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances. He is best remembered for playing multifaceted tough guys in movies such as The Public Enemy (1931), Taxi! (1932), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), and White Heat (1949), and was typecast or limited by this view earlier in his career. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among its list of greatest male stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Orson Welles said of Cagney, "[he was] maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera", and Stanley Kubrick considered him to be one of the best actors of all time.

Cagney walked out on Warner Bros. several times over the course of his career, each time returning on much improved personal and artistic terms. In 1935, he sued Warner for breach of contract and won. This was one of the first times an actor prevailed over a studio on a contract issue. He worked for an independent film company for a year while the suit was being settled—and established his own production company, Cagney Productions, in 1942, before returning to Warner four years later. In reference to Cagney's refusal to be pushed around, Jack L. Warner called him "the Professional Againster". Cagney also made numerous morale-boosting troop tours before and during World War II and was president of the Screen Actors Guild for two years.

In his first professional acting performance, Cagney danced costumed as a woman in the chorus line of the revue Every Sailor, in 1919. He spent several years in vaudeville as a dancer and comedian, until he got his first major acting part in 1925. He secured several other roles, receiving good notices, before landing the lead in the 1929 play Penny Arcade. After rave reviews, Warner Bros. signed him for an initial $500-a-week, three-week contract to reprise his role; this was quickly extended to a seven-year contract.

Cagney's seventh film, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for a famous scene in which Cagney pushes a grapefruit against Mae Clarke's face, the film thrust him into the spotlight. He became one of Hollywood's biggest stars and one of Warner Bros.' biggest contracts. In 1938, he received his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination, for Angels with Dirty Faces, for his subtle portrayal of the tough guy/man-child Rocky Sullivan. In 1942, Cagney won the Oscar for his energetic portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was nominated a third time in 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me. Cagney retired from acting and dancing in 1961 to spend time on his farm with his family. He came out of retirement 20 years later for a part in the movie Ragtime (1981), mainly to aid his recovery from a stroke.

Cagney died at his Dutchess County farm in Stanfordville, New York, on Easter Sunday 1986, of a heart attack. He was 86 years old.

James Cagney

FILMOGRAPHY

1930

Sinners' Holiday

The Doorway to Hell

1931

Blonde Crazy

Smart Money

The Millionaire

The Public Enemy

Other Men's Women

1932

Winner Take All

The Crowd Roars

Taxi!

1933

Lady Killer

Footlight Parade

The Mayor of Hell

Picture Snatcher

Hard to Handle

1934

The St. Louis Kid

Here Comes the Navy

He Was Her Man

Jimmy the Gent

1935

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Irish in Us

G Men

Devil Dogs of the Air

Frisco

1936

Great Guy

Ceiling Zero

1937

Something to Sing About

1938

Angels with Dirty Faces

Boy Meets Girl

1939

The Roaring Twenties

Each Dawn I Die

The Oklahoma Kid

1940

City for Conquest

Torrid Zone

The Fighting 69th

1941

The Bride Came C.O.D.

The Strawberry Blonde

1942

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Captains of the Clouds

1943

Johnny Come Lately

1945

Blood on the Sun

1947

13 Rue Madeleine

1948

The Time of Your Life

1949

White Heat

1950

The West Point Story

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

1951

Come Fill the Cup

1952

What Price Glory?

1953

A Lion Is in the Streets

1955

Mister Roberts

The Seven Little Foys

Love Me or Leave Me

Run for Cover

1956

These Wilder Years

Tribute to a Bad Man

1957

Man of a Thousand Faces

1959

Never Steal Anything Small

Shake Hands with the Devil

1960

The Gallant Hours

1961

One, Two, Three

1981

Ragtime

For more about James Cagney please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cagney

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