A rare opportunity to purchase an Oscar statuette has been missed.
The Oscar won by James Cagney in 1942 for his performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy, has failed to sell at an auction in Los Angeles. The statuette had been expected to fetch at least $800,000 by auction house Nate D. Sanders on Friday (November 21st).
James Cagney's Oscar has failed to sell
Bidding was expected to be high since Oscar statuettes rarely make it to auction, primarily because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started making winners post 1951 agree to offer the prize back to the Academy for $1 before selling it. In the past, the Academy has gone to court to stop some sales of Oscar statuettes.
However despite some predicting the statue could fetch over $1 million, there were no bids on the trophy. The statue is currently owned by a private collector.
Known for his portrayals of gangsters, Cagney was one of the most prolific stars of Hollywood’s golden era in the 1930s and 40s. He is best remembered for starring in films such as 1938's Angels with Dirty Faces (for which he earned his first Oscar nomination) and White Heat in 1949.
In 1955 Cagney was nominated for his third Oscar for Love Me or Leave Me a musical in which he starred opposite Doris Day. He later retired from acting in 1961 before returning to the screen again in 1981’s Ragtime to aid his recovery from a stroke. He died in 1986 at age 86 after suffering a heart attack.