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Welcome to James Cagney - One of a Kind
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I've long admired his cocky attitude and herky-jerky movements, the epitome of rough and tumble manhood. Cagney's energetic acting style with staccato delivery and raspy voice became synonymous with the Hollywood "tough guy" role. Will Rogers once said of him, "Every time I see him work, it looks to me like a bunch of firecrackers going off all at once." He was a Warner Brothers mainstay for many years as the studio was setting the standard for crime drama (gangster flicks). He made 38 films for Warners between 1930 and 1941. However, Mr. Cagney was not content to play just one kind of part and proved his versatility by portraying George M. Cohan in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy, for which he won a well deserved Oscar for his singing and dancing, as well as his acting. He also was a great light comedian in such films as The Strawberry Blonde and The Bride Came C.O.D..

James Francis Cagney, Jr., born on July 17, 1899, was the child of an Irish father and Norwegian mother and was raised on New York's Lower Eastside. He did many odd jobs to support his family. He worked as a waiter, poolroom racker, and even as a female impersonator. He joined the chorus of the Broadway show Pitter-Patter and did a vaudeville tour with Frances, his wife. In the mid 1920's Cagney had begun to play leads on Broadway. He was quite successful in the musical Penny Arcade and was cast in the renamed film version Sinner's Holiday. He was signed to a contract by Warner Brothers and his role as Tom Powers in The Public Enemy made him a star. He went on to star in such classics as Angels With Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties, White Heat, Love Me or Leave Me and Man of a Thousand Faces. He directed 1957's Short Cut to Hell. Cagney retired in 1961 after making the farce One, Two, Three. He received the AFI's Life Achievement Award in 1974, was honored by the Kennedy Center in 1980, and in 1984 received the United States government's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. His autobiography Cagney on Cagney was published in 1975. He made a big screen comeback in 1981's Ragtime and starred in the small screen movie "Terrible Joe Moran" in 1984. He died of a heart attack on his farm in upstate New York on March 30, 1986. President Ronald Reagan delivered the eulogy at his funeral and said, "America lost one of her finest artists".

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Cagney by Fain

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Cagney Registry Logo

Cagney Mugshots

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Major Awards

YEAR
FILM
AWARD
CATEGORY
[N] NOMINATION

[W] WIN

1955
Love Me or Leave Me
Academy Award
Best Actor
N
1942
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Academy Award
Best Actor
W
1938
Angels With Dirty Faces
Academy Award
Best Actor
N
1961
One, Two, Three
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
N
1960
Gallant Hours
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
N
1957
Man of a Thousand Faces
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
N
1955
Love Me or Leave Me
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
N
1942
Yankee Doodle Dandy
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
W
1938
Angels With Dirty Faces
New York Film Critics Circle Award
Best Actor
W

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Filmography


screen bullet Terrible Joe Moran (1984) (TV) .... Joe Moran
screen bullet "James Cagney: That Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1981) TV Series .... Himself
screen bullet Ragtime (1981) .... Rheinlander Waldo
screen bullet Salute to James Cagney, A (1974) (TV) .... Himself
screen bullet Arizona Bushwhackers (1968) (voice) .... Narrator
screen bullet One, Two, Three (1961) .... C.R. MacNamara
screen bullet Gallant Hours, The (1960) .... Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey Jr.
screen bulletNever Steal Anything Small (1959) .... Jake MacIllaney
screen bullet Shake Hands with the Devil (1959) .... Sean Lenihan
screen bullet Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) .... Lon Chaney
screen bullet These Wilder Years (1956) .... Steve Bradford
screen bullet Tribute to a Bad Man (1956) .... Jeremy Rodock
screen bullet Love Me or Leave Me (1955) .... Martin "The Gimp" Snyder
screen bullet Seven Little Foys, The (1955) .... George M. Cohan
screen bullet Mister Roberts (1955) .... The Captain
screen bullet Lion Is in the Streets, A (1953) .... Hank Martin
screen bullet What Price Glory (1952) .... Captain Flagg
screen bullet Come Fill the Cup (1951) .... Lew Marsh
screen bullet Starlift (1951) .... Himself
screen bullet West Point Story, The (1950) .... Elwin 'Bix' Bixby
screen bullet Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950) .... Ralph Cotter
screen bullet White Heat (1949) .... Cody Jarrett
screen bullet Time of Your Life, The (1948) .... Joe
screen bullet13 Rue Madeleine (1946) .... Bob Sharkey
screen bullet Blood on the Sun (1945) .... Nick Condon
screen bullet You, John Jones (1943) (uncredited) .... John Jones
screen bullet Battle Stations (1943) (voice) .... Narrator
screen bullet Johnny Come Lately (1943) .... Tom Richards
screen bullet Show Business at War (1943) .... Himself
screen bulletYankee Doodle Dandy (1942) .... George M. Cohan
screen bullet Captains of the Clouds (1942) .... Brian MacLean
screen bullet Bride Came C.O.D., The (1941) .... Steve Collins
screen bullet Strawberry Blonde, The (1941) .... T. L. "Biff" Grimes
screen bullet City for Conquest (1940) .... Danny Kenny
screen bulletFighting 69th, The (1940) .... Jerry Plunkett
screen bullet Torrid Zone (1940) .... Nick Butler
screen bullet Each Dawn I Die (1939) .... Frank Ross
screen bullet Oklahoma Kid, The (1939) .... Jim Kincaid
screen bullet Roaring Twenties, The (1939) .... Eddie Bartlett
screen bullet Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) .... Rocky Sullivan
screen bullet Boy Meets Girl (1938) .... Robert Law
screen bullet Something to Sing About (1937) .... Terry Rooney
screen bullet Great Guy (1936) .... Johnny Cave
screen bullet Frisco Kid (1935) .... Bat Morgan
screen bullet Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) (uncredited) .... Extra
screen bullet Ceiling Zero (1935) .... Dizzy Davis
screen bullet Devil Dogs of the Air (1935) .... Timmy O'Toole
screen bullet G-Men (1935) .... James "Brick" Davis
screen bullet Irish in Us, The (1935) .... Danny O'Hara
screen bullet Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1935) .... Bottom
screen bullet Here Comes the Navy (1934) .... Chester "Chesty" J. O'Conner
screen bullet Jimmy the Gent (1934) .... Jimmy Corrigan
screen bullet He Was Her Man (1934) .... Flicker Hayes
screen bullet St. Louis Kid, The (1934) .... Eddie Kennedy
screen bullet Mayor of Hell, The (1933) .... Patsy Gargan
screen bulletFootlight Parade (1933) .... Chester Kent
screen bullet Hard to Handle (1933) .... Lefty Merrill
screen bullet Lady Killer (1933) .... Dan Quigley
screen bullet Picture Snatcher (1933) .... Danny Kean
screen bullet Winner Take All (1932) .... Jim Kane
screen bullet Crowd Roars, The (1932) .... Joe Greer
screen bullet Taxi! (1932) .... Matt Nolan
screen bullet Blonde Crazy (1931) .... Bert Harris
screen bulletSmart Money (1931) .... Jack
screen bullet Public Enemy, The (1931) .... Tom Powers
screen bullet Millionaire, The (1931) .... Schofield, Insurance Salesman
screen bullet Other Men's Women (1931) .... Ed
screen bullet Doorway to Hell, The (1930) .... Steve Mileaway
screen bullet Sinner's Holiday (1930) .... Harry Delano As Producer:
screen bullet Gallant Hours, The (1960)

As Director:
screen bullet Short Cut to Hell (1957)

TV guest appearances of note:
screen bullet "What's My Line" (1950) playing "Himself" 5/15/1960
screen bullet "Robert Montgomery Presents" (1950) in episode: "Soldier from the War Returning" 9/10/1956

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CLICK HERE to listen to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" - MP3 clip zip
CLICK HERE to listen to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" - MIDI
CLICK HERE to listen to "You're A Grand Old Flag" - MP3 clip zip

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