James Cagney

James Cagney – Photos and Quotes

Posted on Posted in Celebrity Portraits, Male Stars

“The thing that makes you also breaks you in this business, if you hammer at it too hard. The career is short enough as it is. It is always good policy to change your pace.” James Cagney on playing certain types of characters on screen.

Source: Martha Kerr (1936)


“Shy. Intelligent. Genteel, Soft. Sentimental. Graceful. A beautiful dancer. Just the opposite from the roles he played. And also very observing. He’d observe people, cab drivers, everybody, and then he’d use what he saw in his acting. Jimmy Cagney! Dear Jimmy! He used to call me the world’s most naive sophisticate.”Joan Blondell

Source: Donald Freeman (1968)

Photo: Blonde Crazy (1931)



James Cagney

“Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man. Those few words tell as much about me professionally as there is to tell.”James Cagney


James Cagney

“It can’t last. It never has and it never will.”James Cagney in 1934, when asked to comment on the high salaries of popular stars.


Jimmy the Gent 1934 poster

Jimmy the Gent (1934)


George Raft James Cagney Baseball

At a celebrity baseball junket with George Raft.


James Cagney

“I look nuts. There’s something that people like about a guy who looks a little bit crazy. They never know which way he’s going to jump, whether he’ll turn out to be a poached egg or Napoleon. I guess that my other selling point would be titled, ‘pugnacity.’ I look the kind of guy who’s just about to pick a fight.”James Cagney

Source: Caroline S. Hoyt (1938)


James Cagney

“They need you. Without you, they have an empty screen. So, when you get on there, just do what you think is right and stick with it.” – James Cagney

Photo: The Oklahoma Kid (1939)


The Oklahoma Kid

The Oklahoma Kid (1939)


"My attitude to acting was completely professional. I had no thought of committing art. It was a job, and at night I went home to my family." -- James Cagney (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“My attitude to acting was completely professional. I had no thought of committing art. It was a job, and at night I went home to my family.”James Cagney

Source: Joseph Glascott (1974)

Photo: Only Angels Have Wings (1939)


James Cagney

“There’s not much to say about acting but this. Never settle back on your heels. Never relax. If you relax, the audience relaxes. And always mean everything you say.”James Cagney


James Cagney George Raft cartoonJames Cagney and George Raft from “Hollywood Steps Out,” a 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon that takes place inside a cartoon Ciro’s.


James Cagney Bette Davis

“…Jimmy, with whom I wanted to work in something fine, spent most of the picture removing cactus quills from my behind. This was supposedly hilarious. We romped about the desert and I kept falling into cactus. We both reached bottom in this one.”Bette Davis

Photo: The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)

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