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James Cagney

An Academy Award-winning actor who was known for playing gangsters and short-fused tough guys as well as being a great song and dance man.

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      

Mutiny on the Bounty

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Irish in Us

G Men

Devil Dogs of the Air

Frisco Kid

 

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

You, John Jones!

 

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      

Starlift

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      

Short Cut to Hell

Man of a Thousand Faces

 

1959      

Shake Hands with the Devil

Never Steal Anything Small

 

1960      

The Gallant Hours

 

1961      

One, Two, Three

 

1981      

Ragtime

Awards

He was nominated for 3 Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Awards and won one.

1939 Angels with Dirty Faces

1943 Yankee Doodle Dandy – won

1956 Love Me or Leave Me

Perhaps people, and kids especially, are spoiled today, because all the kids today have cars, it seems. When I was young you were lucky to have a bike. ~ James Cagney  

James Francis “Jimmy” Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. His father, James Francis Cagney Sr. (1875–1918), was of Irish descent. At the time of his son’s birth, he was a bartender and amateur boxer. His mother was Carolyn (née Nelson; 1877–1945); her father was a Norwegian ship captain while her mother was Irish.

Cagney was the second of seven children, two of whom died within months of birth. He was sickly as a young child—so much so that his mother feared he would die before he could be baptized. He later attributed his sickness to the poverty his family had to endure.

The red-haired, blue-eyed Cagney graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, in 1918, and attended Columbia College of Columbia University, where he intended to major in Art. He also took German and joined the Student Army Training Corps but dropped out after one semester, returning home upon the death of his father during the 1918 flu pandemic.

His introduction to films was unusual. When visiting an aunt who lived in Brooklyn opposite Vitagraph Studios, Cagney would climb over the fence to watch the filming of John Bunny movies. He became involved in amateur dramatics, starting as a scenery boy for a Chinese pantomime at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, one of the first settlement houses in t