James Cagney

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In Here Comes the Navy (1934)

James Francis Cagney, Jr. (July 17, 1899March 30, 1986) was an American film actor who won acclaim for a wide variety of roles and won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1942 for his role in Yankee Doodle Dandy.


  • I never actually said "Ooh, you dirty rat."
    • When receiving his AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1974; misattribution noted in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 11.
  • You don't psych yourself up for these things, you do them... I'm acting for the audience, not for myself, and I do it as directly as I can.
    • Cagney by Cagney, his autobiography (1976)

Quotes about[edit]

  • He can do nothing which is not worth watching. On his light hoofer's feet, with his quick nervous hands and his magnificent unconsciousness of the camera, he can pluck distinction from the least promising part.
  • He can't even put a telephone receiver back on the hook without giving the action some special spark of life.

External links[edit]

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