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 stepmade 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.