James Cagney

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Movie Actor
Date of Birth July 17, 1899
Place of Birth New York City, New York
Date of Death Mar 30, 1986 (86)
Horoscope Cancer

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James Cagney

James Francis Cagney Jr. was an American actor and dancer on stage and in film. Known for his consistently energetic performances, distinctive vocal style, and deadpan comic timing, he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances. He is remembered for playing multifaceted tough guys in films such as The Public Enemy, Taxi!, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties and White Heat, finding himself typecast or limited by this reputation earlier in his career. He was able to negotiate dancing opportunities in his films and ended up winning the Academy Award for his role in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among its list of greatest male stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Orson Welles described Cagney as "maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera". Cagney's first appearance on stage was as a stand in for his brother in a community theater production.

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About James Cagney

Tough-guy actor who won an Oscar for his role as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He gained additional fame for his roles in Angeles With Dirty Faces and Love Me or Leave Me.

Before Fame

He worked as a bell hop, door man, and book custodian in New York City.


It is said his tough guy persona on screen from films like The Public Enemy rubbed off on him.

Family Life

He married dancer Frances Willard Vernon in September 1922.


His 1931 movie, The Public Enemy, starred Jean Harlow.

Information related to James Cagney

  • Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild
  • Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award
  • Burials at Gate of Heaven Cemetery
  • Yiddish-speaking people
  • Best Actor Academy Award winners
  • American male Shakespearean actors
  • American tap dancers
  • Warner Bros. contract players
  • Kennedy Center honorees
  • Stuyvesant High School alumni
  • Stroke survivors
  • American male dancers
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
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Latest information about James Cagney updated on October 22, 2020.

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