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James Cagney

James Cagney

James Francis Cagney Jnr (July 17, 1899 - March 30, 1986) was an American film actor.

Born in Yonkers, New York City. He worked in vaudeville and on Broadway, marrying the dancer Frances Willard Vernon on September 28, 1922. When Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the play Penny Arcade they took Cagney and his co-star Joan Blondell from the stage to the screen in Sinner's Holiday (1930).

Cagney went on to star in numerous films, making his name as a 'tough guy' in a series of crime films such as The Public Enemy (1931), Blonde Crazy (1931) and Hard to Handle (1933). He went on to better things including Angels with Dirty Wings (1938), a Academy Award winning role in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), White Heat (1949, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"), and Mister Roberts (1955).

He was one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild and president of the Guild from 1942-44.

Cagney's final appearance on film was in Ragtime in 1981, capping a career that covered over seventy films, although his film prior to Ragtime had been in 1961 with One, Two, Three. In 1974 he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Film Institute and in 1984 his friend Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

James Cagney is interred in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

James Cagney Facts

Birth NameJames Francis Cagney Jr.
BirthdayJuly 17, 1899
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Date of deathMarch 30, 1986 (age 86)
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is James Cagney compared to you?
Awards1978 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award
1943 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for Yankee Doodle Dandy)

Selected Filmography

One Two Three
TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Doris Day
The Gallant Hours
Mister Roberts
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Great Guy
The Bride Came C.O.D.
TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Gangsters
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