James Cagney's Best Actor Oscar starts at $800,000

The Best Actor Academy Award presented to late actor James Cagney for Yankee Doodle Dandy will sell at the top of Nate D Sanders' November 20 online auction.

The musical was a huge success for both Cagney and Warner Bros, and picked up several Oscars

The Best Actor trophy, presented to Cagney in 1942 for his work on the musical, holds a minimum bid of $800,000.

Oscar awards are some of the most coveted of all movie memorabilia. A rule dictates that any actor who wishes to sell their award must first offer it back to the academy for a price of $1, making them very rare on the private market.

However, the rule only applies to awards presented after 1951, making Cagney's fair game for sale.

Yankee Doodle Dandy sees Cagney cast as real-life character George M Cohen, who was known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". As Cohen is brought to the White House to receive a medal, he reflects on his life as a song and dance man.

The musical was a hit for Warner Bros, becoming the biggest success the company had seen to date and earning over $6m.

Cagney was paid $150,000 for his starring role, but made a further $500,000 in profit sharing.

The Oscar award was first sold for Cagney's estate at Doyle Galleries in 2000. It remains in remarkable condition, while many other Oscars tend to have some loss or wear to the gold plating.

See our movie memorabilia for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock