Height of James Cagney
The height of James Cagney is …m.
1. Where did James Cagney come from ?
James Francis Cagney Jr. (/ˈkæɡni/; July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an actor from the United-States ( ???????? ) and dancer on stage and in movie. 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 movies such as The Public Enemy (1931), Taxi! (1932), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), and White Heat (1949), finding himself typecast or limited by this reputation earlier in his career. He was able to negotiate dancing opportunities in his movies and ended up winning the Academy Award for his act in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). 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”.
2. What could we know about James Cagney besides his height ?
In his first professional acting performance in 1919, Cagney was costumed as a woman when he danced in the chorus line of the revue Every Sailor. He spent several years in vaudeville as a dancer and comedian, until he got his first major acting part in 1925. He secured several other acts, receiving good notices, before landing the lead in the 1929 play Penny Arcade. Al Jolson saw Cagney in the play and bought the movie rights, then selling them to Warner Bros. with the proviso that James Cagney and Joan Blondell be able to reprise their stage acts in the movie. After rave reviews, Warner Bros. signed him for an initial $500-a-week, three-week contract; when the executives at the studio saw the first dailies for the movie, Cagney’s contract was immediately extended.
3. What are the projects of James Cagney ?
Cagney’s fifth movie, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for a famous scene in which Cagney pushes a grapefruit against Mae Clarke’s face, the movie thrust him into the spotlight. He became one of Hollywood’s leading stars and one of Warner Bros.’ biggest contracts. In 1938 he received his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for his subtle portrayal of the tough guy/man-child Rocky Sullivan in Angels with Dirty Faces. In 1942 Cagney won the Oscar for his energetic portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was nominated a third time in 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me. Cagney retired from acting and dancing in 1961 to spend time on his farm with his family. He came out of retirement 20 years later for a part in the movie Ragtime (1981), mainly to aid his recovery from a stroke.
4. Somme collaborations with James Cagney ?
Cagney walked out on Warner Bros. several times over the course of his career, each time returning on much improved personal and artistic terms. In 1935 he sued Warner for breach of contract and won. This was one of the first times an actor prevailed over a studio on a contract issue. He worked for an independent movie company for a year while the suit was being settled, establishing his own production company, Cagney Productions, in 1942 before returning to Warner four years later. In reference to Cagney’s refusal to be pushed around, Jack L. Warner which name is him “the Professional Againster”. Cagney also made numerous USO troop tours before and during World War II and served as president of the Screen Actors Guild for two years.
James Francis “Jimmy” Cagney was born in 1899 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. His biographers disagree as to the actual location: either on the corner of Avenue D and 8th Street, or in a top-floor apartment at 391 East 8th Street, the address that is on his birth certificate. 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, although on Cagney’s birth certificate, he is listed as a telegraphist. His mother was Carolyn Elizabeth (née Nelson; 1877–1945); her father was a Norwegian ship’s captain, and her mother was Irish.
Cagney was the second of seven children, two of whom died within months of their births. He was sickly as an infant—so much so that his mother feared he would die before he could be baptized. He later attributed his sickly health to the poverty his family endured. The family moved twice while he was still young, first to East 79th Street, and then to East 96th Street. He was confirmed at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan; his funeral service would eventually be held in the same church.
The red-haired, blue-eyed Cagney graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, in 1918, and attended Columbia College, where he intended to major in Art. He also took German and joined the Student Army Training Corps, but he dropped out after one semester, returning home upon the death of his father during the 1918 flu pandemic.
Cagney held a variety of jobs early in his life: junior architect, copy boy for the New York Sun, book custodian at the New York Public Library, bellhop, draughtsman, and night doorkeeper. He gave all his earnings to his family. While Cagney was working for the New York Public Library, he met Florence James, who helped him into an acting career. Cagney believed in hard work, later stating, “It was good for me. I feel sorry for the kid who has too cushy a time of it. Suddenly he has to come face-to-face with the realities of life without any mama or papa to do his thinking for him.”
He started tap dancing as a boy (a skill that eventually contributed to his Academy Award) and was nicknamed “Cellar-Door Cagney” after his habit of dancing on slanted cellar doors. He was a good street fighter, defending his older brother Harry, a medical student, when necessary. He engaged in amateur boxing, and was a runner-up for the New York state lightweight title. His coaches encouraged him to turn professional, but his mother would not allow it. He also played semi-professional baseball for a local team, and entertained dreams of playing in the Major Leagues.
His introduction to movies was unusual. When visiting an aunt who lived in Brooklyn, opposite Vitagraph Studios, Cagney would climb over the fence to watch the movieing 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 the nation) where his brother Harry performed and Florence James directed. He was initially content working behind the scenes and had no interest in performing. One night, however, Harry became ill, and although Cagney was not an understudy, his photographic memory of rehearsals enabled him to stand in for his brother without making a single mistake.
While working at Wanamaker’s Department Store in 1919, a colleague saw him dance and informed Cagney about a act in the upcoming production, Every Sailor. A wartime play in which the chorus was made up of servicemen dressed as women that was originally titled Every Woman. Cagney auditioned for the chorus, although considering it a waste of time, as he knew only one dance step, the complicated Peabody, but he knew it perfectly. This was enough to convince the producers that he could dance, and he copied the other dancers’ moves and added them to his repertoire while waiting to go on. He did not find it odd to play a woman, nor was he embarrassed. He later rewhich name is how he was able to shed his own naturally shy persona when he stepped onto the stage: “For there I am not myself. I am not that fellow, Jim Cagney, at all. I certainly lost all consciousness of him when I put on skirts, wig, paint, powder, feathers and spangles.”
Had Cagney’s mother had her way, his stage career would have ended when he quit Every Sailor after two months; proud as she was of his performance, she preferred that he get an education. Cagney appreciated the $35 a week he was paid, which he later remembered as “a mountain of money for me in those worrisome days.” In deference to his mother’s worries, he got a job as a brokerage house runner. This did not stop him from looking for more stage work, however, and he went on to audition successfully for a chorus part in the William B. Friedlander musical Pitter Patter, for which he earned $55 a week. James Cagney sent $40 to his mother each week.) So strong was his habit of holding down more than one job at a time, he also worked as a dresser for one of the leads, portered the casts’ luggage, and understudied for the lead. Among the chorus line performers was 16-year-old Frances Willard “Billie” Vernon; they married in 1922.
The show began Cagney’s 10-year association with vaudeville and Broadway. The Cagneys were among the early residents of Free Acres, a social experiment established by Bolton Hall in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
Pitter Patter was not hugely successful, but it did well enough to run for 32 weeks, making it possible for Cagney to join the vaudeville circuit. He and Vernon toured separately with a number of different troupes, reuniting as “Vernon and Nye” to do simple comedy routines and musical numbers. “Nye” was a rearrangement of the last syllable of Cagney’s surname. One of the troupes Cagney joined was Parker, Rand, and Leach, taking over the spot vacated when Archie Leach—who later changed his name to Cary Grant—left.
In 1924, after years of touring and struggling to make money, Cagney and Vernon moved to Hawthorne, California, partly for Cagney to meet his new mother-in-law, who had just moved there from Chicago, and partly to investigate breaking into the movies. Their train fares were paid for by a friend, the press officer of Pitter Patter, who was also desperate to act. They were not successful at first; the dance studio Cagney set up had few clients and folded, and Vernon and he toured the studios, but there was no interest. Eventually, they borrowed some money and headed back to New York via Chicago and Milwaukee, enduring failure along the way when they attempted to make money on the stage.
Cagney secured his first significant nondancing act in 1925. He played a young tough guy in the three-act play Outside Looking In by Maxwell Anderson, earning $200 a week. As with Pitter Patter, Cagney went to the audition with little confidence he would get the part. At this point, he had had no experience with drama. Cagney felt that he only got the act because his hair was redder than that of Alan Bunce, the only other red-headed performer in New York. Both the play and Cagney received good reviews; Life magazine wrote, “Mr. Cagney, in a less spectacular act [than his co-star] makes a few minutes silence during his mock-trial scene something that many a more established actor might watch with profit.” Burns Mantle wrote that it “…contained the most honest acting now to be seen in New York.”
Following the four-month run of Outside Looking In, the Cagneys were financially secure enough for Cagney to return to vaudeville over the next few years, achieving various success. During this period, he met George M. Cohan, whom he later portrayed in Yankee Doodle Dandy, though they never spoke.
Cagney secured the lead act in the 1926–27 season West End production of Broadway by George Abbott. The show’s management insisted that he copy Broadway lead Lee Tracy’s performance, despite Cagney’s discomfort in doing so, but the day before the show sailed for England, they decided to replace him. This was a devastating turn of events for Cagney; apart from the logistical difficulties this presented—the couple’s luggage was in the hold of the ship and they had given up their apartment. He almost quit show business. As Vernon rewhich name is, “Jimmy said that it was all over. He made up his mind that he would get a job doing something else.”
The Cagneys had run-of-the-play contracts, which lasted as long as the play did. Vernon was in the chorus line of the show, and with help from the Actors’ Equity Association, Cagney understudied Tracy on the Broadway show, providing them with a desperately needed steady income. Cagney also established a dance school for professionals, and then landed a part in the play Women Go On Forever, directed by John Cromwell, which ran for four months. By the end of the run, Cagney was exhausted from acting and running the dance school.
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