From rags to riches!
James Cagney hailed from New York City from a poor background. From his childhood, they were struggling to meet their needs. So he had to do multiple jobs and so he was a jack of all trades in “tap dancing, street fighting, baseball, and boxing.”
At the age of 19 he lost his father and he went on to do several jobs to support his family. During this time he got an opportunity to play a chorus girl for a local production house. Though he was not trained he was quick enough to learn from the other artists and was never shy to dress like a girl.
Despite his mom’s wish to do study he went on to do stage plays which later landed him for “Pitter Patter.” He then tied the knot to his love Frances Vernon in 1922 whom he had met at the chorus girl play. Cagney performed stage shows for years and later got a chance to stare in “Penny Arcade” alongside Joan Blondell.
As his performance was much lauded he got to stare in the movie version and was signed by Warner Bros. From there he went on to do several movies and he received his first breakthrough the flick Public Enemy in 1931. The movie was based on gangsters which were different from the usual ones. This brought him laurels and made him one of the highest-paid in Hollywood.
After his gangster movie was criticized he was given other genres and he also produced a movie with his best friend Pat O’ Brien and it was successful at the box office. He toiled hard to sustain his place and was fondly called “The Professional Againster.”
Though he had some misunderstandings with Warner Bros and went on to create his own production. But unfortunately, his production did not do well so he went back to Warner Bros. His last flick with the firm was “Yankee Doodle Dandy in 1942.” He also won the Oscars for the movie.