Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday: James Cagney

A few tidbits about iconic actor James Cagney. My favorite Cagney films are Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and of course, The Public Enemy (1931). I was surprised by several things in this Who's Who. I didn't know he majored in art. And I guess he always seemed shorter than 5'8" to me. Most sources also say his year of birth is 1899. I'm guessing there might have been a bit of fudging about age when this 1941 edition of Hollywood Who's Who was published.

Greer Garson and James Cagney, 1943

Again, I apologize for lack of posting. I've been super busy on my project. So far I've cataloged 4,562 items. I can see the end in sight! Just have two attic corners left :)


Michael Powers said...

This 1941 Who's Who was predictably fictitious; it probably also said Errol Flynn was born in Ireland rather than Tazmania. Cagney was more like 5'4" if even that, although he projected so much energy that he blew everyone else off every screen. I agree with you that "The Public Enemy" and "Angels With Dirty Faces" remain his two best films, and "The Roaring Twenties" and "City for Conquest" (a forgotten gem from his career height) aren't far behind. "Jimmy the Gent," with Bette Davis, is also not to be missed since he plays what looks and sounds exactly like a typical 21st century character right in the middle of 1934.

Anonymous said...

Standard Hollywood publicity practice at that time was to knock five years off a potential star's age. Older biographers (1970s and earlier) believed the publicists. Recent biographers looked for birth certificates.


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