CAGNEY BY CAGNEY by James Cagney


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Born into poverty on New York's Lower East Side, Cagney survived a rough childhood and his share of street fights before setting out as a vaudeville hoofer. Having taken up acting in the mid-'20's, he was signed by Warner Brothers in 1930 following his Broadway stage appearante in Penny Arcade. Catapulted to stardom the following year in The Public Enemy, Cagney went on to make G-Men; Angels with Dirty Faces; Yankee Doodle Dandy (""once a song-and-dance man, always a song-and-dance man""); Mister Roberts; and Man of a Thousand Faces. Once he ""stopped caring"" the actor retired from the screen in 1961 to settle down on his Dutchess County, N.Y. farm alongside Bill, his wife of 54 years. Besides the ""reminiscences that might add up to a book""--of his cronies Bob Montgomery, Ralph Bellamy and Frank McHugh--Cagney includes a few of his poems plus assorted thoughts ranging from conservation to painting. A workmanlike if not particularly revealing autobiography by a man who ""never thought of himself as anything but a journeyman actor."" His own account is really not much different from all the others.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1975
ISBN: 0385520263
Publisher: Doubleday