Public Figure Profiles

James Cagney

James Francis Cagney Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American actor, dancer and film director. On stage and in film, Cagney was 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 (1931), Taxi! (1932), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), City for Conquest (1940) 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 films and ended up winning the Academy Award for his role 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".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 roles, 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, before selling them to Warner Bros. with the proviso that James Cagney and Joan Blondell be able to reprise their stage roles in the movie. After rave reviews, Warner Bros. signed him for an initial $400-a-week, three-week contract; when the executives at the studio saw the first dailies for the film, Cagney's contract was immediately extended.

Cagney's fifth film, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for a famous scene in which Cagney pushes half a grapefruit against Mae Clarke's face, the film 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 nomination for Best Actor 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 with Doris Day. 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.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 film company for a year while the suit was being settled, establishing his own production company, Cagney Productions, in 1942 before returning to Warner seven years later. In reference to Cagney's refusal to be pushed around, Jack L. Warner called 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.

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Some of their strengths

James Cagney has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Loyal, Intuitive, Imaginative, Creative, Compassionate, Passionate, and Independent.

Intuitive and Imaginative

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, James Cagney is someone who is a highly intuitive, creative and imaginative person who is very loyal, caring and compassionate to others. A person who defines themself by their friends and what groups they belong to.

Adventurous and Free

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know James Cagney well know them as someone who can be talented, wayward and free, like a big river or the ocean.

Independent and Organized

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe James Cagney as someone who is independent, organized, inventive, and generous.

A person who is curious and a loves learning, who seems to always know what to say, who has an optimism that can overcome any difficult situation, and who seems to be able to master almost any skill.

Justice-seeking and Insightful

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, James Cagney is someone who tends to be intolerant of unfairness in life, and who has an uncanny ability to reveal the truth in any situation.

They are also someone who is curious, dynamic, and positive, and who enjoys inspiring and communicating with other people.

Traditional and Patient

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, James Cagney tends to be someone who is a patient person that is very emotional, has a very sharp memory, has an ability to understand people, and who tends to be traditional and frugal.

Some of James Cagney's challenges

While James Cagney has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, James Cagney can be Domineering, Sensitive, Emotional, Standoffish, Complicated, Brusque, and Difficult.

Emotional and Standoffish

One of James Cagney's key challenges is that they are someone who can be emotional and standoffish.

James Cagney must also exercise caution as they can be excessive and unrealistic.

Domineering and Impatient

James Cagney is someone who can be demanding, egotistical, and controlling, can have a lack of judgment regarding personal finances, be argumentative and stubborn, and who can have a tendency to be withdrawn and spend time in self-imposed isolation.

Sensitive and Money-oriented

Finally, James Cagney also can have mood swings, be overly sensititive, and be a bit rigid and materialistic.

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