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Top 22 James Cagney Quotes About Life (ACTOR)

Top 10 Most Famous James Cagney Quotes (BEST)

“You know, the period of World War I and the Roaring Twenties were really just about the same as today. You worked, and you made a living if you could, and you tired to make the best of things. For an actor or a dancer, it was no different then than today. It was a struggle.”

James Cagney
Absorption in things other than self is the secret of a happy life.
Absorption in things other than self is the secret of a happy life.
Find your mark, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth.
Find your mark, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth.
Where I come from, if there's a buck to be made, you don't ask questions, you go ahead and make it.
Where I come from, if there’s a buck to be made, you don’t ask questions, you go ahead and make it.
Outside of my family, the prime concern of my life has been nature and its order, and how we have been savagely altering that order.
Outside of my family, the prime concern of my life has been nature and its order, and how we have been savagely altering that order.
Perhaps people, and kids especially, are spoiled today, because all the kids today have cars, it seems. When I was young you were lucky to have a bike.
Perhaps people, and kids especially, are spoiled today, because all the kids today have cars, it seems. When I was young you were lucky to have a bike.
You don't psych yourself up for these things, you do them… I'm acting for the audience, not for myself, and I do it as directly as I can.
You don’t psych yourself up for these things, you do them… I’m acting for the audience, not for myself, and I do it as directly as I can.
The lovers of hate, born in fear - Find no release from tension - They spend their lives in a permanent state - Of miserable apprehension.
The lovers of hate, born in fear – Find no release from tension – They spend their lives in a permanent state – Of miserable apprehension.
Talent was not nurtured, it was consumed. We did our job. If anyone was practicing art, I never saw it.
Talent was not nurtured, it was consumed. We did our job. If anyone was practicing art, I never saw it.
I know you’re a smart lawyer, very smart, but don’t get smart with me.
I know you’re a smart lawyer, very smart, but don’t get smart with me.

2 James Cagney Quotes on Songs and Dance

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.
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.
I'm here to dance a few jigs, sing a few songs, say hello to the boys, and that's all.
I’m here to dance a few jigs, sing a few songs, say hello to the boys, and that’s all.

4 James Cagney Quotes that Will Make You Think

“Those vaudevillians knew something that ultimately I came to understand and believe – that audiences are the ones who determine material. They buy the tickets.”

James Cagney
Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I'll give it to you through the door.
Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I’ll give it to you through the door.

“I never had the slightest difficulty with a fellow actor. Not until One, Two, Three. In that picture, Horst Buchholz tried all sorts of scene-stealing didoes. I came close to knocking him on his ass.”

James Cagney
Don't cry, there is enough water in the goulash already.
Don’t cry, there is enough water in the goulash already.

4 James Cagney Quotes on Acting

“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
I came out here on a three week guarantee, and I stayed, to my absolute amazement, for thirty-one years.
I came out here on a three week guarantee, and I stayed, to my absolute amazement, for thirty-one years.

“Though I soon became typecast in Hollywood as a gangster and hoodlum, I was originally a dancer, an Irish hoofer, trained in vaudeville tap dance. I always leapt at the opportunity to dance in films later on.”

James Cagney
I probably was one of the few fellas in the business who had done any degree of boxing and street fighting and who looked as if he had done it.
I probably was one of the few fellas in the business who had done any degree of boxing and street fighting and who looked as if he had done it.

2 Inspirational James Cagney Quotes About Life

“My childhood was surrounded by trouble, illness, and my dad’s alcoholism, but as I said, we just didn’t have the time to be impressed by all those misfortunes. I have an idea that the Irish possess a built-in don’t-give-a-damn that helps them through all the stress.”

James Cagney
With me, a career was the simple matter of putting groceries on the table.
With me, a career was the simple matter of putting groceries on the table.

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