Saturday, November 10, 2007

The fleeting fame of James Cagney

Frank "Pop" Mankiewicz, the father of director Joseph L Mankiewicz and screenwriter Herman Mankkiewicz was a high school teacher and later college professor in New York City. One of his students had the actor James Cagney. This anecdote is quoted from Pictures will talk : the life and films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz by Kenneth L. Geist.(page 107)

Joe loves to tell the story of how James Cagney, at the height of his thirties stardom, had stopped by their table at the Brown Derby one evening to pay his respects to his former Stuyvesant High School teacher. Pop's dedication to his academic pursuits had left him little time for seeing movies other than those made by his sons. In response to Cagney's query about whether the professor remembered him, Pop replied, "Yes, indeed, Mr. Cagney. Tell me, what are you doing now? "


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