This Irish New Yorker was known as the "Little Tough Guy." Cagney's first real job as an entertainer was in a chorus line as a "female Dancer / impersonator and was considered a Vaudeville hoofer ( Tap) in the 1920's until becoming a dramatic movie star.
Cagney played in many musicals and was an excellent dancer. He was the first to use the "Moonwalk" ( A dance step Made popular by Michael Jackson) in a movie. His greatest roles were as a gangster in many gangster movies of the 1940's. However he won an Academy award for his dancing and portrayal in the film musical "Yankee Doodle Dandy" ( Pictured left.)
The famous line "You Dirty Rat" used to portray him was never spoken by Cagney, however it was spoken by a "Comedian Impersonator" ( Some say a writer) who did it so well, everyone attributed it to the real Cagney.