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James Cagney

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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