James Cagney Honored On  U.S. Postage Stamp

     WASHINGTON–Oscar-winning film and stage great James Cagney was honored on the 100th anniversary of the year of his birth when a new commemorative postage stamp is issued July 22 by the U.S. Postal Service at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif.

  "The James Cagney stamp will serve as a lasting tribute to one of our country’s most
     patriotic and dedicated actors," said Deborah Willhite, Postal Service Senior Vice
     President, Government Relations.

     "James Cagney was a true legend of Hollywood, and the Postal Service is pleased to
     bring the celebration of his inspiring work to the millions of Americans who send and
     receive mail daily," said Willhite, who will dedicate the stamp.

     The James Cagney stamp will be dedicated in a ceremony on July 22 prior to a rare
     screening of the classic film "Yankee Doodle Dandy," in which Cagney’s portrayal of
     George M. Cohan won him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

     From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 22, the public will have an opportunity to purchase
     the stamp, and obtain the official first day of issue cancellation and dedication
     ceremony program, at the Warner Bros. Studios’ Tour office located at Hollywood
     Way and Riverside Drive. 

     Also expected to join Willhite at the ceremony will be Sanford E. Reisenbach,
     Executive Vice President, Marketing & Planning, Warner Bros.; Jean Picker
     Firstenberg, Director and CEO of the American Film Institute (AFI); legendary film
     and television producer A.C. Lyles of Paramount Pictures; Casey Thomas, daughter
     of James Cagney; Joan Leslie, who co-starred with Cagney in "Yankee Doodle
     Dandy;" and Karl Malden, Academy Award-winning actor and member of the
     Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. The 12-member committee is responsible for
     recommending all U.S. stamp subjects and designs to the Postmaster General for
     final approval.

     "We are pleased to host the inauguration of the James Cagney stamp here at Warner
     Bros," said Reisenbach. "This talented actor made 46 of his movies with our studio,
     including the illustrious ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy,’ for which he made his mark as one
     of Hollywood’s most talented and respected actors."

     "Through the Legends of Hollywood series of stamps, people will have the
     opportunity to learn more about some of the unforgettable stars of the past, and can
     enjoy the beautifully presented images created by the Postal Service, whether or not
     they are stamp collectors," he said.

     James Francis Cagney, Jr., was born in New York City on July 17, 1899. He began
     his career in show business in 1919, moving between the New York stage and
     vaudeville. In 1930, Cagney moved to Hollywood where he landed a contract with
     Warner Bros. and made his film debut in "Sinner’s Holiday" (1930), a project Al
     Jolson owned the rights to and sold to Warner Bros. under the stipulation that
     Cagney appear in the film.

     In his fourth film, "The Public Enemy" (1931), Cagney squashed half a grapefruit in
     Mae Clark’s face at the breakfast table, and one of the most memorable moments in
     the history of film was created.

     Cagney danced for the first time on screen in "Taxi" (1931), but officially became a
     movie "song-and-dance man" in his next film, "The Footlight Parade" (1933), which
     featured spectacular musical numbers by the legendary Busby Berkley.

     In 1938, "Angels with Dirty Faces" earned Cagney his first Academy Award
     nomination (over the span of his career, Cagney received three Oscar nominations).
     But, it was the biography of George M. Cohan, the flag-waving writer and composer
     of countless musicals, who personally chose Cagney to star in "Yankee Doodle
     Dandy," which would win Cagney his only Oscar as Best Actor. Produced in 1942,
     the classic is still Cagney’s most remembered film and his personal favorite. Cagney
     would later say that with the exception of his wife, vaudeville had the greatest affect
     on his life. He always thought of himself as "Just a Song and Dance Man." 

     In 1974, Cagney was the first actor to receive the American Film Institute’s Life
     Achievement Award, and in 1984, he was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom,
     America’s highest civilian award. He died on March 30, 1986, after appearing in
     more than 60 films. 

     Designed by Howard Paine of Delaplane, Va., and illustrated by Thomas Blackshear
     of Colorado Springs, Colo., the 33-cent stamp features an original portrait of
     Cagney. The selvage on the right side of the horizontally formatted 20-stamp pane is
     a photo of Cagney in his electrifying performance in "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

     The James Cagney stamp is the fifth in the Legends of Hollywood series, which
     includes Alfred Hitchcock (1998), Humphrey Bogart (1997), James Dean (1996),
     and Marilyn Monroe (1995). More than 75 million James Cagney stamps will be

     For more information on stamps, or to see an image of the James Cagney stamp,
     visit the Postal Service Website at www.usps.com and click on "Stamps." To order
     stamps or stamp products, go directly to www.stampsonline.com.