James Cagney Jr

James Francis Cagney Jr (1899 - 1986)

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James Francis "Jimmy" Cagney Jr
Born in Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in New York, New York, United Statesmap
[children unknown]
Died in Stanfordville, Dutchess County, New York, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jul 2015
This page has been accessed 841 times.

Categories: Notables | Academy Award Winners of the 20th Century | Famous Actors of the 20th Century | Dancers | Hollywood Walk of Fame | This Day In History July 17 | This Day In History March 30 | Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Contents

Biography

Jimmy Cagney, Academy Award Winning actor and widely considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time.
James Cagney Jr was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

For his contributions, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

Birth and Childhood

James Francis Cagney Jr. was born in New York City, in Manhattan on the Lower East Side. He was a sickly infant, and early on, his parents were not certain that he would make it. His mother was so scared that she might lose him, that she initially waited to name him. But his health improved, and eventually was able to return home.

Jimmy was the 2nd boy born to James Francis Cagney, Sr. and Carolyn "Carrie" Elizabeth (Nelson) Cagney. His parents had a total of 7 children, but two died very young, and so he grew up in a household with 3 brothers and 1 baby sister. Life was tough growing up in the Lower East Side, and fighting was a way of life. Jimmy was good with his fists, and fought to defend his friends and family.

Jimmy Sr. died during the influenza epidemic in 1918, and so he never got to see his daughter born. Carrie raised the four boys and baby girl by herself from that point on. Because of this, Jimmy was never without a job from the time he could hold down a paper route onward. He always brought money home to his mother, knowing it was important to make sure there was a roof over their heads and food on the table.

He worked a number of jobs, and none perhaps more important than working in amateur drama. He was understudy to his older brother Harry, when his brother took ill, and Jimmy had to step in. Jimmy had always had a knack for memorizing lines, and played the part flawlessly. Florence James (who would eventually become one of the founders of the Playhouse Theatre in Seattle) was directing the play and now had the distinction of being the first director to put Jimmy Cagney on the stage. Fueled by her encouragement and his success at the part, Cagney began acting in a number of companies in a number of roles.

Acting and the Movies

Even when Jimmy's career started, he continued to send money home to take care of his family. His salary slowly began to increase as he became better known in the theatre. It was during these early years that he met Billie Vernon, a chorus line girl. By 1922, the two were married and acting together as "Vernon and Nye" doing song, dance, and comedy routines.

After several years of saving up, Jimmy and Billie moved to Hawthorne, California to try their luck at the movies, but were unsuccessful and had to return to New York. Cagney returned to the theatre to keep working. It took him until 1929 before he was finally noticed, when he was asked to make a movie of the play he was just performing, Millie the Magnificent.

From this point on, he starred in many movies, including some of his most famous gangster films ever made, such as The Public Enemy and Little Caesar. He gained a reputation for refusing to back down on the set, and it worked both for him and against him. His salary continued to rise, but eventually Warner refused to give in to his other demands. He sued Warner for breach of contract and after a long hard fought battle for many years - won. Returning to Warner in the late 30's, he appeared in Angels with Dirty Faces, a part that got him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He continued to make great movies, becoming Warner's top salary earner.

Jimmy and Billie had no children of their own, but chose to adopt two children around this time. James Frances Cagney Jr. was born in California in 1939, and was adopted as an infant by the Cagney's. Cathleen "Cassie" Francis Cagney was also born in California in 1940 and was adopted by the Cagney's.

Just before WWII, Cagney was filming Yankee Doodle Dandy, and was moved by the impending war and the patriotic theme of the show. Jimmy won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role. When WWII broke out, Cagney went out and appeared for the troops through the USO, doing Vaudeville acts. He returned to the movies soon after, and made a number of memorable films in the next decade, including The White Heat, Love Me or Leave Me (Academy Award Nominee), Mister Roberts, Man of a Thousand Faces, and The Gallant Hours. By 1961, he had opted for retirement and settled into his farm in Stanfordville, New York.

Retirement and Death

Jimmy passed on a number of roles that many believed would have suited him well. It wasn't until 1981, 20 years later, that he chose to appear in Ragtime, and it was a success. However, he had health issues such as glaucoma and sciatica that had begun to plague him for some years prior to filming, and he had suffered a minor stroke in 1977, and so chose not to rush back into acting roles.

Jimmy made a few television appearances in the 1980's, and did one more movie, Terrible Joe Moran, in 1984. During this time, he continued to have additional strokes, and became confined to a wheelchair as a result. He died on his farm in Stanfordville, New York on March 30, 1986, and was buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cagney

"New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2WW8-M6N : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, 17 Jul 1899; citing Birth, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,953,536.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MSKJ-CYK : accessed 4 July 2015), James J Cagney in household of James Cagney, Borough of Manhattan, Election District 11 New York City Ward 28, New York County, New York, United States; citing sheet 5A, family 102, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,241,114.

New York, State Census, 1905, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/SPFY-CFW : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney in household of James F Cagney, Manhattan, A.D. 28, E.D. 11, New York, New York; citing p. 27, line 4, county offices, New York.; FHL microfilm 1,433,109.

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M5WV-RZ2 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney Jr. in household of James Cagney, Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 389, sheet 2A, family 27, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,030.

"New York, State Census, 1915," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K924-6F4 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney Jr, New York, New York, New York, United States; from "New York, State Census, 1915," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing p. 76, line 38, state population census schedules, 1915, New York State Archives, Albany.

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K6J3-GPJ : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, 1917-1918; citing New York City no 138, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,766,411.

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MJBR-ZGJ : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney in household of Carrie Cagney, Manhattan Assembly District 16, New York, New York, United States; citing sheet 6A, family 138, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,214.

"New York, State Census, 1925," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KSQV-Q98 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, New York, A.D. 16, E.D. 13, New York, New York, United States; from "New York, State Census, 1925," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing state population census schedules, 1925, p. 28, line 42, New York State Archives, Albany.

"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X423-DWS : accessed 4 July 2015), James F Cagney, Manhattan (Districts 0001-0250), New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0248, sheet 26A, family 2, line 3, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1558; FHL microfilm 2,341,293.

"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CK-5P9 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, Councilmanic District 2, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Township, Los Angeles, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 60-172, sheet 5B, family 174, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 404.

"United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JGWY-RTP : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, Mar 1986; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV57-1DGV : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, California, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5W-BTM9 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, Texas, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV57-1XXY : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, California, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVPL-2DHG : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, Kansas, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Wichita Eagle, The, born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV57-7SZH : accessed 4 July 2015), Mr James Cagney, Illinois, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVP2-TD6J : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, Albany, New York, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Knickerbocker News, born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5W-BR15 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Or Jimmy Francis Cagney, Texas, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5Q-KFFF : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, Washington, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVPG-FCR3 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney Jr, Pennsylvania, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Philadelphia Inquirer, The, born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVS1-B7DD : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, SouthWest Central, Texas, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Dallas Morning News, The, born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5Q-W844 : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV57-LP3N : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, California, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV57-76VC : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, Illinois, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5W-944T : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, California, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5H-4YBT : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney Jr, Pennsylvania, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV5Q-PMRZ : accessed 4 July 2015), James Cagney, Hackensack, New Jersey, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QV54-3SKZ : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney Jr, Georgia, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing , born-digital text.

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVP2-YD2T : accessed 4 July 2015), James Francis Cagney, Albany, New York, United States, 31 Mar 1986; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Times Union, The, born-digital text.

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James is 30 degrees from Chet Atkins, 23 degrees from Edie Kohutek and 27 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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