Jeanne Cagney Poster

Biography

Dark-haired beauty Jeanne Carolyn Cagney was born in New York City, New York on March 25, 1919 - just a few months after the end of World War I. She and her four brothers - including James Cagney and William Cagney - were raised by her widowed mother. Jeanne majored in French and German during her years at Hunter College High School, and starred in plays produced by the Hunter College of City College of New York. Upon graduating from college, she studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

She began her movie career in 1939, with a role in the obscure comedy All Women Have Secrets (1939). This succeeded an appearance on Bing Crosby's radio program. However, she did not become known until three years later, when she acted in the highly-acclaimed biographical musical Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) alongside her brother, James (who won an Academy Award for his performance as George M. Cohan). Regrettably, Jeanne only made sporadic appearances in film and television until her retirement from acting in 1965. Notable movies include Quicksand (1950) - in which she played a femme fatale - and the Marilyn Monroe thriller Don't Bother to Knock (1952). Jeanne also made three more films with her brother James (The Time of Your Life (1948), A Lion Is in the Streets (1953), and Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)), and, in 1948, appeared on stage in a production of 'The Iceman Cometh'.

Jeanne was married to actor Ross Latimer from 1944 to 1952. She later wed Jack Sherman Morrison, a faculty member in theater arts at UCLA, in 1953, with whom she had two daughters: Mary and Terry. Jeanne and Morrison ended their marriage in 1973.

Jeanne Cagney was sadly diagnosed with lung cancer later on in her life, and died of the disease on December 7, 1984. She was 65. While not a household name, Ms. Cagney is remembered today among modern-day aficionados of 1940s and 1950s cinema.