Jeanne Cagney

Jeanne Carolyn Cagney (March 25, 1919 December 7, 1984) was an American film, stage, and television actress.

Jeanne Cagney
Cagney, c. 1942
Born(1919-03-25)March 25, 1919
DiedDecember 7, 1984(1984-12-07) (aged 65)
Alma materHunter College
Years active1939–1965
  • Kim Spalding
    (m. 1944; div. 1952)
  • Jack Sherman Morrison
    (m. 1953; div. 1973)
RelativesJames Cagney (brother)
William Cagney (brother)

Early years

Born in New York City, Cagney and her four older brothers were raised by her widowed mother. Two of the brothers were film actor James Cagney and actor/producer William Cagney.[1] She attended Hunter College High School. Majoring in French and German,[2] she was a cum laude graduate of Hunter College (now part of City University of New York) and a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society.[3] She also starred in plays produced by the college's dramatic society.[4] Following her college graduation, she studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.[1]


Cagney performed in the original stage production of The Iceman Cometh, which premiered on Broadway on October 9, 1946.[1] The play's author, Eugene O'Neill, cast her in the role of Margie, one of the "street walkers" in his story.


After being heard by a scout while appearing on Bing Crosby's radio program, Cagney had a film test with RKO Pictures. However, she signed a long-term contract with Paramount Pictures.[4] She appeared in 19 films between 1939 and 1965, including four films with her brother James: Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), The Time of Your Life (1948), A Lion Is in the Streets (1953), and Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). Cagney gave a noted performance opposite Mickey Rooney in the film noir crime film Quicksand (1950).


Cagney briefly played the title role in the radio soap opera The Romance of Helen Trent.[5] Most of her other work on radio was as a guest in dramatic programs such as the following:

YearRadio ProgramEpisode/source
1942Armstrong's Theatre of TodayNA[6]
1942Screen Guild PlayersYankee Doodle Dandy[7]
1944Silver TheaterWanted -- Adventure for Two[8]
1944The Kate Smith HourTill We Meet Again[9]
1945Grand Central StationNA[10]
1946Grand Central StationA Lion Is in the Streets[11]
1952Family TheaterThe Red Head[12]


In 1954, Cagney made a television pilot for a mystery series, Satan's Waiting, but it apparently was not sold.[13] Later, she served as the fashion commentator of Queen for a Day,[14] hosted by Jack Bailey on NBC and ABC from 1956 to 1963. This daytime "game show" is regarded as a forerunner of today's reality shows. Cagney hosted segments that provided viewers with tips on style and introduced to them the latest fashions.


Cagney married actor Ross Latimer (also known as Kim Spaulding) in 1944. She was divorced from him March 9, 1951. They had no children.[15] She married Jack Morrison, a faculty member in theater arts at UCLA,[14] on June 6, 1953;[16] they had two daughters, Mary and Terry.[14]


Jeanne Cagney, at age 65, died of lung cancer in Newport Beach, California, on December 7, 1984.[1] Survivors included brothers William and James Cagney, daughters Theresa Cagney and Mary Anne Roberts, and a grandson.[1] Her grave is at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, California. Her brother William, who died in 1988, is buried next to her.[17]


1939All Women Have SecretsKay Parker Gregory
1940Queen of the MobEthel Webster
1940Golden GlovesMary Parker
1940Rhythm on the RiverCountry Cousin
1942Yankee Doodle DandyJosie Cohan
1948The Time of Your LifeKitty Duval
1952Don't Bother to KnockRochelle
1953A Lion Is in the StreetsJennie Brown
1955Kentucky RifleCordie Hay
1957Man of a Thousand FacesCarrie Chaney
1965Town TamerMary Donley(final film role)


  1. "Actress Jeanne Cagney Morrison, 65". Chicago Tribune. December 11, 1984. p. 14 - Section 2. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  2. Ferguson, Betty Jane (June 9, 1938). "Movie Tough Guy's Sister Knows He Is Only Putting on a Good Act". The Piqua Daily Call. p. 18. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  3. "Obituaries: Star's sister is dead at 65". Lodi News-Sentinel. December 10, 1984. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. "At Last Jeanne Cagney Has A Role That Suits Her Name". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 7, 1943. p. 31. Retrieved May 28, 2015 via
  5. Wolters, Larry (July 19, 1953). "Helen Trent's Romance Now 20 Years Old". Chicago Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  6. "Jeanne Cagney Guest Star on Theatre of Today". Harrisburg Telegraph. June 20, 1942. p. 24. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  7. "Players to Open Season With 'Yankee Doodle Dandy'". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 17, 1942. p. 19. Retrieved May 28, 2015 via
  8. "Jeanne Cagney Guest on Silver Theater Hour". Chicago Tribune. July 9, 1944. p. Part 3 - Page 4. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  9. "Comedy". The Lincoln Star. September 24, 1944. p. 28. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  10. "Jeanne Cagney On WSOY". The Decatur Herald. May 12, 1945. p. 6. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  11. "Jeanne Cagney in St. Patrick Story, On 'Grand Central'". Harrisburg Telegraph. March 16, 1946. p. 21. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  12. Kirby, Walter (February 24, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved May 28, 2015 via
  13. "Malone Firm To Produce Mystery Films". Billboard. November 27, 1954. p. 5. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  14. Thompson, Ruth E. (June 13, 1964). "TV Rates with Jeanne Cagney". Simpson's Leader-Times. p. 13. Retrieved May 28, 2015 via
  15. "Jeanne Cagney Wins Divorce". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. March 9, 1951. p. 15. Retrieved May 31, 2015 via
  16. "Jeanne Cagney Weds". The Anniston Star. June 7, 1953. p. 1. Retrieved May 30, 2015 via
  17. "Jeanne Cagney," Find a Grave website memorial 8803 created on March 10, 2000. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
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