spence

BIO OF *CAGNEY!

19 posts in this topic

 JAMES (Francis) CAGNEY was born on July 17th 1899 in Hell's Kitchen, NYC  was both born Irish/Norwegian.

Height: 5'7.  Weight: 140 to approx 165lbs latter in his 86yrs of life & was in a wheelchair yrs later due to Diabetes & at once standing 5'7, he refused-(unlike the 5'8 at best *Bogey, to ever wear lifts

Laster & most of his life home was: Verney Farms, NY -("Hawthorne") Thing he loved mot: "Painting"  But did own a Hollywood hme located at 2609 Coldwater Canyon, Rd in B. Hills

Wife: Billie

Film career: 1930-81)

Adored dogs inhis farms, but Horses were truly his LOVE@

& also received"The Presidential; Medal of Freedom"in'85 from then U.S. prsident Ronald Reagan, who Reagan called his ultimsate movie hero!

& the American Film Institute-(est: 1967-) AFI Award gimit's annual Lifetime Achievemnent Award for 1974

Plus, he was voted/ranked at 8th in "AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars" (l99  poll & Survey of all-time movie actors.

He pretty muchdespised lg cities such as New York & preferred a farm, especially later in life.

Best buddies: *Tracy, Pat 0Brien, Frank MHugh, Frank Morgan, Robert Armstrong, David Huddleston. (*Georg C. Scott & more! He saw him n '77's "S. Night Fever" summoned John to his Verney Farms estate.  Also, he bare; got to meet with George M. Cohan-(l878-l942) (*AKA:" Hollywoods Irish Mafia, but they preffered nickname of "The Boys Club" instead..He was pd thee most duringthe early to mid 30's even over *"The King of HollywoodL Clrk Gable"-(l90l-60)

& *CAGNEY & CINEMA>

Debut: "Sinner's Holiday"(l930) (Warner Bros.) (**1/2)

Finale" 1981's wondrous "Ragtime" (4 BIG STARS!)& (made just $11m.) & both Ebert & Siskel were outrasged that he wasn't p for a 4th nomination forthisgreat picture for s. actor! FANASTIC FILM ON EVEY SINGLELEVEL TOO including *Randy Newman's score!) But it did garner (8) nods

 

Very last flm: 1984 tv movie as fmr boxer Joe Moran"Terrible Joe Moran"(***) co-staring pal & *Oscar victor *Art Carney-(won an EMMY foir it too!) & Ellen Barkin & fav. release: "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (l942-WB;s) & as all know his 1 & only Best Actor Academy Award (AMPAS) winner! Fred Astaire was always slated for this role first by WB's though? This was the type *Him loved the most & not playing gangsters, calling them "NO STRAIN!"

His only (3) AMPAS nominations>

1938's superb WB's gangster fikm "Angels With Dirty Faces"-(won the NYFCC, but great friend *Tracy took home the Oscar istead for "Boys Town" MGM)  AKA:"THE ORIGINAL ROCKY HERE TO!")

1942 *"Yahkee Doodole Dandy" during "The War" wnners were only given placques due to the WW11effort, but got regular statuette just afterward   Same also went for (Jimmy Stewart, *Ginger Rogers, *Bing & *Barry Fitzgerald,etc

& 155's "Love Me or Leave Me" (M-G-M) (3 & 1/2 stars!) he was upo foir Best Actr again,but Doris Day fans were truly mad whenshe was left out  He portrayed Marty "The Gimp" Snyder A ga;lvanishing pc of workl by him, but lost thast yrarv for *"MARTY" &*E. Borgnine inyrs sweeper  MASRTY!"

VS, my own "Essential *James Cagney"

"White Heat" (l959 Warner Bros.) 2bd fav of his 65  "Angels With Dirty Faces" 3rd "The Roaring Twenties" (l939-WB's) As true ti ife +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++gajn+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++gster Frabnk Fatye, but *caney u+seed name instead of Eddie Bartlett instead1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

his fasrm(s)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

shorthand?:huh:

Doan ask.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cagney published a memoir in 1976 which is somewhat rambling, but pretty interesting revisionist history of his career:

9780385520263_p0_v1_s550x406.jpg

I went through a lot of research with the Morgan Horse Association to find the line of horses he bred. I wanted one but sadly, no one kept his line going.

The "old style" Morgans of Cagney's day looked like him: short, stocky (thickly built), muscular, strong yet light on their feet-

stormwashedlookside1004.jpg

Opposed to "modern" Morgans that look like skinny swaybacks (this one ironically named Yankee Doodle Dandy):

photo_archive_tedwintopic.jpg
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda looked up there like Spence was claiming Jimmy summoned GEORGE C. SCOTT after seeing him in "Saturday Night Fever"!  :o

Would have been best to just refer us to the book.

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

Cagney published a memoir in 1976 which is somewhat rambling, but pretty interesting revisionist history of his career:

9780385520263_p0_v1_s550x406.jpg

I went through a lot of research with the Morgan Horse Association to find the line of horses he bred. I wanted one but sadly, no one kept his line going.

The "old style" Morgans of Cagney's day looked like him: short, stocky (thickly built), muscular, strong yet light on their feet-

stormwashedlookside1004.jpg

Opposed to "modern" Morgans that look like skinny swaybacks (this one ironically named Yankee Doodle Dandy):

photo_archive_tedwintopic.jpg

Cagney came to Toronto in 1968 to visit the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair which has, among other things, horses. Since he primarily lived in upstate New York I suspect this was not a one time visit by him.

I had heard he was staying at the Royal York Hotel and got my Dad to drop off a fan letter of mine for him there. Four months later I received a reply (his return address surprising me a bit by being Coldwater Canyon, CA, apparently a second home).

I have to wonder if I am the ONLY Toronto area resident who thinks of that Hollywood tough guy every November when the fair is promoted.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've posted this before, but it's always worth re-posting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXxZCrM04uI

James Cagney's AFI Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech.  This is one of the most enjoyable acceptance speeches I've ever watched and it displays Cagney's immense charisma and charm.  It's also a nice glimpse of the past--when stars had some class and were worth the "star" label.  Cagney didn't use his time to make a political statement or to step on his soapbox to make a statement.  Nowadays, it seems like each and every award winner has to use his or her time in the spotlight to attempt to make a profound speech, one that they think will resonate for decades to come.  However, not everyone is a great orator and for me, these speeches are DOA.  However, with Cagney's delightful speech, he lends a little bit of wisdom, philosophy, wit, and other qualities that for me, are indicative of Cagney the person, not Cagney, the persona.  My favorite part is where he talks about a man from his childhood who stood on the corner hitching up his trousers while pointing and snapping his fingers at people who pass-by.  It's funnier than how I describe it.  Cagney says, "let's face it, we're all indebted to that fella." 

Watching the 1970s-1980s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award speeches are so much fun.  Just the level of talent in the audience of these events is astounding.  It was truly a different era and in the time of "You Tube Stars" and "Instagram Stars" and "Instantly Iconic" and "Legendary Kardashians," it is sorely needed now. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Cagney published a memoir in 1976 which is somewhat rambling, but pretty interesting revisionist history of his career:

9780385520263_p0_v1_s550x406.jpg

 

 

I read this book and really liked it. It says so much about Cagney by what he does not say. He won't say anything bad about his fellow actors, but he does mention one actress - not by name - in his early days that was rude to a friend of his. He said she had lots of money but no talent. I've often wondered who he was talking about, and you can figure out who it might be if you notice the actresses he worked with that he does not mention.

He also makes his family life seem just fine when the fact is that his kids lived in a house separate from himself and his wife, even as children, and that his mother really disliked his wife because Cagney had a chance to marry a woman who had a great deal of money and married someone else instead.

He talks a great deal about "The Irish Mafia" and really sings the praises of actor Frank McHugh. He also talks in detail about his trouble with Jack Warner.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

I read this book and really liked it. It says so much about Cagney by what he does not say. He won't say anything bad about his fellow actors, but he does mention one actress - not by name - in his early days that was rude to a friend of his. He said she had lots of money but no talent. I've often wondered who he was talking about, and you can figure out who it might be if you notice the actresses he worked with that he does not mention.

He also makes his family life seem just fine when the fact is that his kids lived in a house separate from himself and his wife, even as children, and that his mother really disliked his wife because Cagney had a chance to marry a woman who had a great deal of money and married someone else instead.

He talks a great deal about "The Irish Mafia" and really sings the praises of actor Frank McHugh. He also talks in detail about his trouble with Jack Warner.

This looks like a book that would be worth seeking out.  I haven't seen as many of Cagney's movies as I have of other actors, but I do try to record them when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I also love autobiographies.  If Cagney is half as good of a writer as he is a speech-giver, I'm sure it'll be fascinating.  I also appreciate autobiographies that do not turn into gossipy exposes.  As much as I love hearing dirt about celebrities, I don't like it when it is apparent that the dirt is being exposed as a means to undermine their reputation or to sell more copies of someone's book. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, speedracer5 said:

This looks like a book that would be worth seeking out.  I haven't seen as many of Cagney's movies as I have of other actors, but I do try to record them when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I also love autobiographies.  If Cagney is half as good of a writer as he is a speech-giver, I'm sure it'll be fascinating.  I also appreciate autobiographies that do not turn into gossipy exposes.  As much as I love hearing dirt about celebrities, I don't like it when it is apparent that the dirt is being exposed as a means to undermine their reputation or to sell more copies of someone's book. 

There is no dirt but there are quite a few funny anecdotes. He said that Spencer Tracy used to call him up in the middle of the night to talk about random topics. One time, after Frank Morgan's funeral, he called Cagney up and mentioned how awful Frank's brother Ralph had looked at the memorial service. Cagney mentioned that Ralph was actually seven years older than Frank. Spence then said "Wow! He looks really good then!" and hung up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

This looks like a book that would be worth seeking out.  I haven't seen as many of Cagney's movies as I have of other actors, but I do try to record them when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I also love autobiographies.  If Cagney is half as good of a writer as he is a speech-giver, I'm sure it'll be fascinating.  I also appreciate autobiographies that do not turn into gossipy exposes.  As much as I love hearing dirt about celebrities, I don't like it when it is apparent that the dirt is being exposed as a means to undermine their reputation or to sell more copies of someone's book. 

One of the things I liked about Flynn's autobiography is that he was not a kiss and tell kind of guy. Some celebrities love to brag about their amatory conquests of famous people. That was never Errol's style.

Oh, he mentioned Lupe Velez alright but it was the uniqueness of the circumstances (she aggressively seduced him) that resulted in his amusing anecdote about that one nighter with a lady who knew what she wanted.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, TomJH said:

One of the things I liked about Flynn's autobiography is that he was not a kiss and tell kind of guy. Some celebrities love to brag about their amatory conquests of famous people. That was never Errol's style.

Oh, he mentioned Lupe Velez alright but it was the uniqueness of the circumstances (she aggressively seduced him) that resulted in his amusing anecdote about that one nighter with a lady who knew what she wanted.

Yes.  Flynn's autobiography was fascinating.  Regardless of how much of it was true and how much of it was exaggerated, Flynn was a great raconteur.  I loved reading his book and it is one of the few books that I actually scaled back on how much I was reading because I didn't want it to end.  When I got down to the last two chapters, I was actually only reading one-two pages at a time because I was trying to prolong reading it.  

I remember reading the Lupe Velez anecdote.  I also remember him talking about a leading lady of his who shoved her tongue down his throat during one of their kissing scenes.  He doesn't name names, but I like to think that the aggressive leading lady of his was Olivia de Havilland. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

I read this book and really liked it. It says so much about Cagney by what he does not say. He won't say anything bad about his fellow actors, but he does mention one actress - not by name - in his early days that was rude to a friend of his. He said she had lots of money but no talent. I've often wondered who he was talking about, and you can figure out who it might be if you notice the actresses he worked with that he does not mention.

He also makes his family life seem just fine when the fact is that his kids lived in a house separate from himself and his wife, even as children, and that his mother really disliked his wife because Cagney had a chance to marry a woman who had a great deal of money and married someone else instead.

He talks a great deal about "The Irish Mafia" and really sings the praises of actor Frank McHugh. He also talks in detail about his trouble with Jack Warner.

That is one book I would really love to read. Cagney's thoughts and insights would be fascinating to read. 

He had too much class to moan about the lack of professionalism (or talent) of his fellow performers, and that's what I like about him. He was a class act.

I saw the AFI tribute and even at that age, he was full of charm, wisdom and charisma. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, amazing what happens when people have ambition, drive and use their brains. They create a personality. When did it become socially acceptable-desirable- to be a complete unthinking dolt?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Yeah, amazing what happens when people have ambition, drive and use their brains. They create a personality. When did it become socially acceptable-desirable- to be a complete unthinking dolt?

I don’t know. Social media has almost made people (and I really want to aim this at teenagers and some early 20-somethings, as that’s where I seem to notice it the most) seem ashamed of being knowledgeable or even wanting to be educated. Hence you get posts like “Omg. I’m reading a book. I’m such a weirdo.” Also in society, it seems like  ignorance is celebrated, which is a very sad state of affairs. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Yeah, amazing what happens when people have ambition, drive and use their brains. They create a personality. When did it become socially acceptable-desirable- to be a complete unthinking dolt?

Well Tiki, my guess was always that this whole phenomenon became totally entrenched within our culture just about the time people started signing releases so that their appearances on that old Tonight Show segment "Jaywalking" could be broadcast nationwide showing how clueless they were about subjects they evidently fell asleep in during their school years.

(...I mean, you have to REALLY have no shame at all in order to sign a release allowing a nationwide broadcast showing how ignorant you are and just for your "15 minutes of fame", wouldn't ya say?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/1/2018 at 10:54 AM, calvinnme said:

It says so much about Cagney by what he does not say. He won't say anything bad about his fellow actors,

I read the book also. There is one actor he did not like. Horst Buchholz, his young co star on "One Two Three". Cagney said that Buchholz was trying a lot of scene stealing tricks and would have been very happy to knock him on his a-s-s. Dealing with this character was one of the reasons why he decided to retire from films after this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us