To All Dancers, Dance Enthusiasts and Tap Dancers, Join us in celebrating the Birthday of James Francis Cagney today 07/17/1899. born in New York City.
** Born on the Lower East side of Manhattan NY.
** Second of seven siblings, graduated from the Stuyvesant High School, NY 1918.
** According to his authorized biography, Cagney, although of Irish and Norwegian extraction, could speak Yiddish since he had grown up in a heavily Jewish area in New York. He used to converse in Yiddish with Jewish performers like Sylvia Sidney.
** Ranked #45 in Empire UK magazine’s The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. October 1997.
** Films co-starring James Cagney and Pat O’Brien were these nine: Here Comes the Navy – 1934, Devil Dogs of the Air – 1935, The Irish in Us – 1935, Boy Meets Girl – 1938, Angels with Dirty Faces – 1938, Torrid Zone – 1940, The Fighting 69th – 1940, Ceiling Zero – 1936, as well as their finale together, four decades later, Ragtime – 1981.
** American Film Institute Life Achievement Award 1974.
** President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG). 1942-1944
** Convinced decorated war hero Audie Murphy to go into acting.
** He was voted the 14th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
** Though most Cagney imitators use the line You dirty rat!, Cagney never actually said it in any of his films.
** He was voted the 11th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
** Named the #8 greatest Actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends List by The American Film Institute
** His performance as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy – 1942, is ranked #6 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time – 2006.
** His performance as Tom Powers in The Public Enemy – 1931 is ranked #57 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
** Yankee Doodle Dandy – 1942 is ranked #88 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.
** Turned down Stanley Holloway’s role as Eliza’s father in My Fair Lady – 1964.
** Broke a rib while filming the dance scene in Yankee Doodle Dandy – 1942 but continued dancing until it was completed.
** Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan at a ceremony at the White House on 26 March 1984.