James Cagney

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

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).

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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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
The star-studded cast, which includes James Cagney as Bottom, Olivia de Havilland as Hermia and the 13-year-old Mickey Rooney as Puck, will reprise their roles one year later in Reinhardt's film version of the production, one of the first screen adaptations of Shakespeare.
I once watched a televised interview of actor James Cagney. When asked his secret to acting Cagney replied, "Look the camera straight in the eye and tell the truth." That statement somehow stuck with me all these years.
What a movie Hollywood could have made of their lives with (a young) Ronald Reagan as Matty and James Cagney (at any age) as Muggsy!
Winnipeg expatriate Chester Kent (Mark McKinney) moved to the United States to become a Broadway producer; but like his inspiration in Ace in the Hole (not to mention his namesake, the James Cagney character in Footlight Parade) he finds himself out of money and out of luck.
Narrator King does her usual narrative romp with voices ranging from Marilyn Monroe to James Cagney as she depicts the many weird characters in the story.
The Founding Fathers edged out athletes (top-ranked professional golfer Tiger Woods, home-run king Mark McGuire, Olympian Bruce Jenner), astronauts (John Glenn, Neil Armstrong), and actors (Tom Cruise, Will Smith, James Cagney, John Wayne).
Boris Karloff, the Marx Brothers, Eddie Cantor, James Cagney, Lucille Ball, and Frederic March were only a few of the Screen Actors Guild enthusiasts from among the stars.
The girlfriend gets a pouty look and says, "Maybe you've found someone you like better." So gangster James Cagney, in reply, picks up half a grapefruit from the breakfast table and shoves it in her face.
Popular perceptions of inmates shaped by vivid movie and television images of playful Bonnies and Clydes, mafia dons like Marlon Brando who refuse to deal drugs, and psychopaths like James Cagney in the 1930s gangster films are ancient history.
"Laurel and Hardy because they were brilliantly funny geniuses and James Cagney because as an actor he was perfection.
We fill the room with our own romantic notions of incarceration--good guys and bad, James Cagney's "top of the world" farewell, top/bottom sex against a stone wall in Todd Haynes' Poison (derived, like Querelle, in part from Genet), all burned into our collective memory.