Shop by the Stars aisle featuring James Cagney (1899-1986) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
New York City born screen legend, equally great as menacing tough guy as he is singing and dancing. Winner of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1974, Cagney claimed his Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Also received Oscar nominations for his work in Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and Love Me or Leave Me (1955). Started out in the chorus of a couple of musicals, then toured vaudeville for a few years before returning to Broadway. Made his way to Hollywood with Penny Arcade (1930) co-star Joan Blondell after Al Jolson bought the rights to the show, sold it to Warner Bros., and insisted they cast the two stars. Both were featured in the WB adaptation Sinners' Holiday (1930), and both stuck in Hollywood for decades to come. Cagney caused a sensation in gangster classic The Public Enemy (1931) with several tough guy classics to follow before moviegoers were treated to something entirely different in Footlight Parade (1933), which saw him perform in a spirited Busby Berkeley number. Cagney battled over contracts since The Public Enemy, finally walking out on Warners in 1935. After two pictures for Grand National Films, the courts sided with Cagney, and Warner ponied up to get their bread and butter back. Angels with Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties (1939), and The Strawberry Blonde (1941) were among the titles that followed, leading up to Yankee Doodle Dandy. Cagney left WB again to form Cagney Productions in 1942, though ultimately returned to Warner Bros. for another crime classic, White Heat (1949). Later films include Mister Roberts (1955), These Wilder Years (1956), Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), and The Gallant Hours (1960). He retired after Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961), but returned for an important supporting role in Ragtime (1981) for Milos Forman, his final theatrical release. Cagney capped his career with a rare foray into television for the CBS TV movie Terrible Joe Moran (1984). Married since 1922, wife Frances survived him at his death in 1986, age 86.
Birthday: July 17