James Cagney

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Cagney, James,

1899–1986, American movie actor, b. New York City. He worked on Broadway as an actor and dancer before appearing in films. He is best remembered as a brash, sadistic, tough guy in such movies as Public Enemy (1931) and The Roaring Twenties (1939). He displayed equal vigor in sympathetic parts, appearing in numerous comedies and musicals. He broke a twenty-year retirement to appear in the film Ragtime (1981). His many other films include Angels With Dirty Faces (1936), The Bride Came C.O.D. (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), White Heat (1949), Love Me or Leave Me (1955), Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), and One Two Three (1961).


See his autobiography, Cagney by Cagney (1976); biography by J. McCabe (1997).

James Cagney
James Francis Cagney, Jr.
BirthplaceNew York City, New York, USA

Cagney, James

(1899–1986) film actor; born in New York City. Graduating from vaudeville to the Broadway stage, he made his film debut in Sinner's Holiday (1930). A leading role in The Public Enemy (1931) established him as the quintessential screen gangster, and he played thugs through most of the 1930s. His performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), as George M. Cohan, earned him an Oscar. After that movie, he appeared in a variety of roles.