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James Dean

as Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955)
Born James Byron Dean
February 8, 1931(1931-02-08)
Marion, Indiana, U.S.
Died September 30, 1955 (aged 24)
Cholame, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Jimmy Dean
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–1955

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American film actor. Dean's status as a cultural icon is best embodied in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his star were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden, and as the surly farmer Jett Rink in Giant. His enduring fame and popularity rests on only these three films, his entire output in a starring role. His death at an early age cemented his legendary status.

He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only person to have two posthumous acting nominations. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Dean the 18th best male movie star on their AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list.[1]

Contents

Early life

James Dean was born on February 8, 1931, at the Seven Gables apartment house in Marion, Indiana to Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson. Six years after his father had left farming to become a dental technician, James and his family moved to Santa Monica, California. The family spent several years there, and by all accounts young Jimmy was very close to his mother. According to Michael DeAngelis, she was "the only person capable of understanding him".[2] He was enrolled at Brentwood Public School in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles until his mother died of cancer when Dean was nine years old.

Unable to care for his son, Winton Dean sent James to live with Winton's sister Ortense and her husband Marcus Winslow on a farm in Fairmount, Indiana, where he was raised in a Quaker background. Dean sought the counsel and friendship of Methodist pastor Rev. James DeWeerd. DeWeerd seemed to have had a formative influence upon Dean, especially upon his future interests in bullfighting, car racing, and the theater. According to Billy J. Harbin, "Dean had an intimate relationship with his pastor... which began in his senior year of high school and endured for many years."[3] In high school, Dean's overall performance was mediocre, however was a popular school athlete having successfully played on the baseball and basketball teams and studied drama and competed in forensics through the Indiana High School Forensic Association. After graduating from Fairmount High School on May 16, 1949, Dean moved back to California with his beagle, Max, to live with his father and stepmother. He enrolled in Santa Monica College (SMCC) and majored in pre-law. Dean transferred to UCLA[4] and changed his major to drama, which resulted in estrangement from his father. He pledged the Sigma Nu fraternity but was never initiated. While at UCLA, he beat out 350 actors to land the role of Malcolm in Macbeth. At that time, he also began acting with James Whitmore's acting workshop. In January 1951, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.[5]

Acting career

Dean's first television appearance was in a Pepsi Cola television commercial.[6] He quit college to act full time and was cast as John the Beloved Disciple in Hill Number One, an Easter television special, and three walk-on roles in movies, Fixed Bayonets!, Sailor Beware, and Has Anybody Seen My Gal? His only speaking part was in Sailor Beware, a Paramount comedy starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; Dean played a boxing trainer. While struggling to get jobs in Hollywood, Dean also worked as a parking lot attendant at CBS Studios, during which time he met Rogers Brackett, a radio director for an advertising agency, who offered Dean professional help and guidance in his chosen career, as well as a place to stay.[7][8]

In October 1951, following actor James Whitmore's and his mentor Rogers Brackett's advice, Dean moved to New York City. In New York he worked as a stunt tester for the Beat the Clock game show. He also appeared in episodes of several CBS television series, The Web, Studio One, and Lux Video Theatre, before gaining admission to the legendary Actors Studio to study Method acting under Lee Strasberg. Proud of this accomplishment, Dean referred to the Studio in a 1952 letter to his family as "The greatest school of the theater. It houses great people like Marlon Brando, Julie Harris, Arthur Kennedy, Mildred Dunnock. ... Very few get into it ... It is the best thing that can happen to an actor. I am one of the youngest to belong."[7] His career picked up and he performed in further episodes of such early 1950s television shows as Kraft Television Theatre, Robert Montgomery Presents, Danger and General Electric Theater. One early role, for the CBS series, Omnibus, (Glory in the Flower) saw Dean portraying the same type of disaffected youth he would later immortalize in Rebel Without a Cause (this summer, 1953 program was also notable for featuring the song "Crazy Man, Crazy", one of the first dramatic TV programs to feature rock and roll music). Positive reviews for his 1954 theatrical role as "Bachir", a pandering North African houseboy, in an adaptation of André Gide's book The Immoralist, led to calls from Hollywood.[9]

East of Eden

In 1953, director Elia Kazan was looking for a substantive actor to play the emotionally complex role of 'Cal Trask', for screenwriter Paul Osborn's adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1952 novel East of Eden. The lengthy novel had dealt with the story of the Trask and Hamilton families over the course of three generations, focusing especially on the lives of the latter two generations in Salinas Valley, California from the mid-1800s through the 1910s

In contrast, the film chose to deal predominantly with the character of Cal Trask; initially seeming more aloof and emotionally troubled than his older brother Aaron...yet quickly seen to be more worldly, aware, business savvy, and even sagacious than their pious and constantly disapproving father (played by Raymond Massey) seeking to invent vegetable refrigeration, and estranged mother, whom Cal discovers is a brothel-keeping 'madame' (Jo Van Fleet). Elia Kazan said of Cal before casting, "I wanted a Brando for the role." Osborn suggested Dean who then met with Steinbeck; the future Nobel laureate did not personally like the bold youth, but thought him perfect for the part. Kazan set about putting the wheels in motion to cast the relatively unknown young actor in the role; on April 8, 1954, Dean left New York City and headed for Los Angeles to begin shooting.[10][11][12]

Dean's performance in the film foreshadowed his role as Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause. Both characters are angst-ridden, protagonists and misunderstood outcasts, desperately craving approval from a father figure.

Much of Dean's performance in the film is unscripted; such as his dance in the bean field and his curled up, fetal like posturing whilst riding on top of a train-car (after searching out his mother in a near-by town). The most famous improvisation during the film was when Cal's father rejects his gift of $5,000 (which was in reparation for his father's business loss). Instead of running away from his father as the script called for, Dean instinctively turned to Massey and, crying, embraced him. This cut and Massey's shocked reaction were kept in the film by Kazan.

At the 1955 Academy Awards, he received a posthumous Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award nomination for this role, the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history. (Jeanne Eagels was unofficially nominated for Best Actress in 1929, when the rules for selection of the winner were different.)

Rebel Without a Cause

Dean in the trailer for the film Rebel Without a Cause

Dean quickly followed up his role in Eden with a starring role in Rebel Without a Cause, a film that would prove to be hugely popular among teenagers. The film is often cited as an accurate representation of teenage angst. It co-starred teen actors Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, and Dennis Hopper and was directed by Nicholas Ray.

Giant

Giant, which was posthumously released in 1956, saw Dean play a supporting role to Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. This was due to his desire to avoid being typecast as Jim Stark and Cal Trask. In the film, he plays Jett, an oil rich Texan. His role was notable in that, in order to portray an older version of his character in one scene, Dean dyed his hair gray and shaved some of it off to give himself a receding hairline.

Giant would be Dean's last film. At the end of the film, Dean is supposed to make a drunken speech at a banquet; this is nicknamed the 'Last Supper' because it was the last scene before his sudden death. Dean mumbled so much that the scene had to later be re-recorded by his co-stars because Dean had died before the film was edited.

Coincidentally, the #1 pop song in the US at the time of Dean's death, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" by Mitch Miller, was also featured in Giant in a scene following the actor's last appearance in the film described above.

At the 1956 Academy Awards, Dean received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in Giant.

Racing career and 'Little Bastard'

When Dean got the part in East of Eden, he bought himself a red race-prepared MG TD and shortly afterwards, a white Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon. Dean upgraded his MG to a Porsche 356 Speedster (Chassis number: 82621), which he raced. Dean came in second in the Palm Springs Road Races in March 1955 after a driver was disqualified; he came in third in May 1955 at Bakersfield and was running fourth at the Santa Monica Road Races later that month, until he retired with an engine failure.

During filming of Rebel Without a Cause, Dean traded the 356 Speedster in for one of only 90 Porsche 550 Spyders. He was contractually barred from racing during the filming of Giant, but with that out of the way, he was free to compete again. The Porsche was in fact a stopgap for Dean, as delivery of a superior Lotus Mk. X was delayed and he needed a car to compete at the races in Salinas, California.

Dean's 550 was customized by George Barris, who would go on to design the Batmobile. Dean's Porsche was numbered 130 at the front, side and back. The car had a tartan on the seating and two red stripes at the rear of its wheelwell. The car was given the nickname 'Little Bastard' by Bill Hickman, his language coach on Giant. Dean asked custom car painter and pin striper Dean Jeffries to paint Little Bastard on the car.[13] When Dean introduced himself to Alec Guinness outside a restaurant, he asked him to take a look at the Spyder. Guinness thought the car appeared 'sinister' and told Dean: 'If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.' This encounter took place on September 23, 1955, seven days before Dean's death.[14][15]

Death

On September 30, 1955, Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wütherich set off from Competition Motors, where they had prepared his Porsche 550 Spyder that morning for a sports car race at Salinas, California. Dean originally intended to trailer the Porsche to the meeting point at Salinas, behind his new Ford Country Squire station wagon, crewed by Hickman and photographer Sanford Roth, who was planning a photo story of Dean at the races. At the last minute, Dean drove the Spyder, having decided he needed more time to familiarize himself with the car. At 3:30 p.m., Dean was ticketed in Mettler Station, Kern County, for driving 65 mph (105 km/h) in a 55 mph (89 km/h) zone. The driver of the Ford was ticketed for driving 20 mph (32 km/h) over the limit, as the speed limit for all vehicles towing a trailer was 45 mph (72 km/h). Later, having left the Ford far behind, they stopped at Blackwells Corner in Lost Hills for fuel and met up with fellow racer Lance Reventlow.

Dean was driving west on U.S. Route 466 (later State Route 46) near Cholame, California when a black-and-white 1950 Ford Custom Tudor coupe, driven from the opposite direction by 23-year-old Cal Poly student Donald Turnupseed, attempted to take the fork onto State Route 41 and crossed into Dean's lane without seeing him. The two cars hit almost head on. According to a story in the October 1, 2005 edition of the Los Angeles Times,[16] California Highway Patrol officer Ron Nelson and his partner had been finishing a coffee break in Paso Robles when they were called to the scene of the accident, where they saw a heavily breathing Dean being placed into an ambulance. Wütherich had been thrown from the car, but survived with a broken jaw and other injuries. Dean was taken to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:59 p.m. His last known words, uttered right before impact, were said to have been "That guy's gotta stop... He'll see us."[17]

Junction of highways 46 and 41

Contrary to reports of Dean's speeding, which persisted decades after his death, Nelson said "the wreckage and the position of Dean's body indicated his speed was more like 55 mph (88 km/h)."[16] Turnupseed received a gashed forehead and bruised nose and was not cited by police for the accident. Wütherich died in a road accident in Germany in 1981 after surviving several suicide attempts.

While completing Giant, and to promote Rebel Without a Cause, Dean filmed a short interview with actor Gig Young for an episode of Warner Bros. Presents[18] in which Dean, instead of saying the popular phrase "The life you save may be your own" instead ad-libbed "The life you might save might be mine." [sic][19] Dean's sudden death prompted the studio to re-film the section, and the piece was never aired—though in the past several sources have referred to the footage, mistakenly identifying it as a public service announcement. (The segment can, however, be viewed on both the 2001 VHS and 2005 DVD editions of Rebel Without a Cause).

Memorial

James Dean Memorial in Cholame. Dean died about 900 yards east of this tree.

James Dean is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana. In 1977, a Dean memorial was built in Cholame, California. The stylized sculpture is composed of concrete and stainless steel around a tree of heaven growing in front of the Cholame post office. The sculpture was made in Japan and transported to Cholame, accompanied by the project's benefactor, Seita Ohnishi. Ohnishi chose the site after examining the location of the accident, now little more than a few road signs and flashing yellow signals. In September, 2005, the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 in Cholame (San Luis Obispo county) was dedicated as the James Dean Memorial Highway as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his death. (Maps of the intersection 35°44′5″N 120°17′4″W / 35.73472°N 120.28444°W / 35.73472; -120.28444)

There is a memorial at Jack Ranch Cafe in Cholame.

The dates and hours of Dean's birth and death are etched into the sculpture, along with a handwritten description by Dean's close friend, screenwriter William Bast, of one of Dean's favorite lines from Antoine de Saint Exupéry's The Little Prince—"What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Possible alternative career

According to a WENN article dating June 2003, Dean was planning to quit his acting career until his ill-fated car accident prevented any of his plans to be taken to action. Days before his sudden death, Dean told his close-friend and Rebel Without A Cause co-star Dennis Hopper that he wanted to become a film director, as he could not stand "being treated like a puppet."[citation needed] Hopper recalls, "Jimmy was going to try directing. It was going be a movie called The Actor, about being a movie star. Jimmy wanted to be in charge. He was going to stop acting in films and be a director, but he died before any of this could happen. We had pretty much seen the end of James Dean on the screen, even if he had lived."[citation needed] Hopper continues, "He couldn't stand being interrupted every five seconds by some idiot behind the camera. He was too caught up in the role to be stopped abruptly and made to start again. He was going to do just one more acting part — as Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me — and then stop acting. That part ultimately went to Paul Newman, after Jimmy died in the car wreck."[citation needed]

Personal life

William Bast was one of Dean's closest friends, a fact acknowledged by Dean's family.[20] Dean's first biographer (1956),[21] Bast was his roommate at UCLA and later in New York, and knew Dean throughout the last five years of his life. Some time after Dean's death, he stated that he and Dean had been lovers.[22]

Early within Dean's career, after he signed his contract with Warner Brothers, their public relations department began generating stories about Dean's liaisons with a variety of young actresses who were mostly drawn from the clientele of Dean's Hollywood agent, Dick Clayton. Studio press releases also grouped "Dean together with two other actors, Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, identifying each of the men as an 'eligible bachelor' who has not yet found the time to commit to a single woman: 'They say their film rehearsals are in conflict with their marriage rehearsals.'"[23]

Dean's best remembered relationship is that undertaken with a young Italian actress Pier Angeli, whom he met while Angeli was shooting The Silver Chalice on an adjoining Warner lot, and with whom he exchanged items of jewelry as love tokens.[24] Angeli's mother was reported to have disapproved of the relationship because Dean was not Roman Catholic. In his autobiography, East of Eden director Elia Kazan, while dismissing the notion that Dean could possibly have had any success with women, paradoxically alluded to Dean and Angeli's "romance", claiming that he had heard them loudly making love in Dean's dressing room. For a very short time the story of a Dean-Angeli love affair was even promoted by Dean himself, who fed it to various gossip columnists and to his co-star, Julie Harris, who in interviews has reported that Dean told her about being madly in love with Angeli. However, in early October 1954, Angeli unexpectedly announced her engagement to Italian-American singer Vic Damone, to Dean's expressed irritation.[25] Angeli married Damone the following month, and gossip columnists reported that Dean, or someone dressed like him, watched the wedding from across the road on a motorcycle. However, when Bast questioned him about the reports, Dean denied that he would have done anything so "dumb" ...and Bast, like Paul Alexander, believes the relationship was a mere publicity stunt.[26][27] Pier Angeli only talked once about the relationship in her later life in an interview, giving vivid descriptions of romantic meetings at the beach that read like wishful fantasies,[28] as Bast claims them to be.[29]

Actress Liz Sheridan claims that she and Dean had a short affair in New York. In her memoir detailing this, she also states that Dean was having a sexual involvement with Rogers Brackett, and describes her negative response to this situation.[30] However, again Bast is skeptical whether this was a true love affair and claims Dean and Sheridan didn't spend much time together.[7]

Dean avoided the draft by registering as a homosexual, then classified by the US government as a mental disorder. When questioned about his orientation, he is reported to have said, "Well, I'm certainly not going through life with one hand tied behind my back."[31]

Legacy

Iconic status and impact on popular culture

American teenagers at the time of Dean's major films identified with Dean and the roles he played, especially in Rebel Without A Cause: the typical teenager, caught where no one, not even his peers, can understand him. Joe Hyams says that Dean was "one of the rare stars, like Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift, who both men and women find sexy." According to Marjorie Garber, this quality is "the undefinable extra something that makes a star."[32] Dean's iconic appeal has been attributed to the public's need for someone to stand up for the disenfranchised young of the era,[33] and to the air of androgyny[34] that he projected onscreen. Dean's "loving tenderness towards the besotted Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause continues to touch and excite gay audiences by its honesty. The Gay Times Readers' Awards cited him as the male gay icon of all time."[35]

Dean is mentioned or featured in various songs, which include titles such as "James Dean" by That Handsome Devil, "James Dean" by The Eagles, "A Young Man is Gone" by The Beach Boys, "Rock On" by David Essex, "American Pie" by Don McLean, "Daddy's Speeding" by Suede, "Electrolite" by R.E.M. and "Walk On The Wild Side" by Lou Reed. In addition, he is often noted within television shows, films, books and novels. In an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the character Liberty likens the rebellious, anti-social Sean Cameron to James Dean. On the sitcom Happy Days, Fonzie has a picture of Dean on his wall. A picture of Dean also appears on Rizzo's wall in the film Grease. In the alternate history book Homeward Bound by Harry Turtledove, Dean is stated to have not died in a car crash and made several more films, including a film called Rescuing Private Ranfall, based on Saving Private Ryan.

Dean's estate still earns about $5,000,000 per year, according to Forbes Magazine.[36]

Speculated sexual orientation

Today, Dean is often considered an icon because of his "experimental" take on life, which included his ambivalent sexuality.[35] There have been several accounts of Dean's sexual relationships with both men and women.

William Bast, one of Dean's closest friends,[20] was Dean's first biographer (1956).[37] He recently published a revealing update of his first book, in which, after years of successfully dodging the question as to whether he and Dean were sexually involved,[38][39] he finally stated that they were.[22] In this second book, Bast describes the difficult circumstances of their involvement and also deals frankly with some of Dean's other reported homosexual relationships, notably the actor's friendship with Rogers Brackett, the influential producer of radio dramas who encouraged Dean in his career and provided him with useful professional contacts.[40]

Bast identifies a potentially bipolar depression in Dean's erratic behavior and mood swings.[41] In his description of their relationship, Dean emerges as a character very much torn apart between wanting to reach out (to Bast) and needing protection against possible rejections or wanting to hide any supposed weakness. According to John Howlett, Dean was also probably suffering from dyslexia, which furthered his intellectual insecurity.[42] Shortly before his death, Dean also gave away his pet kitten Marcus, saying: "I figured, I might go out some night and just never come home."[43] Bast also repeatedly observed Dean's heavy use of alcohol and drugs during the filming of Rebel Without a Cause.[44]

Journalist Joe Hyams suggests that any homosexual activity Dean might have been involved in, appears to have been strictly "for trade", as a means of advancing his career. Val Holley notes that, according to Hollywood biographer Lawrence J. Quirk, gay Hollywood columnist Mike Connolly "would put the make on the most prominent young actors, including Robert Francis, Guy Madison, Anthony Perkins, Nick Adams and James Dean."[45] However, the "trade only" notion is debated by Bast[22] and other Dean biographers.[46] Aside from Bast's account of his own relationship with Dean, Dean's fellow biker and "Night Watch" member John Gilmore claims he and Dean "experimented" with homosexual acts on one occasion in New York, and it is difficult to see how Dean, then already in his twenties, would have viewed this as a "trade" means of advancing his career.[47]

Screenwriter Gavin Lambert, himself homosexual and part of the Hollywood gay circles of the 1950s and 1960s, described Dean as being homosexual. Rebel director Nicholas Ray is on record as saying that Dean was homosexual.[48] Additionally, William Bast and biographer Paul Alexander conclude that Dean was homosexual, while John Howlett concludes that Dean was "certainly bisexual".[26][49][50] George Perry's biography reduces these aspects of Dean's sexuality to "experimentation".[51] Still, Hyams and Paul Alexander also claim that Dean's relationship with pastor De Weerd had a sexual aspect, too.[26][52] Bast also shows that Dean had knowledge of gay bars and customs.[53] Consequently, Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon's book Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day (2001) includes an entry on James Dean.

The "curse" of "Little Bastard"

Since Dean's death, a "legend" has arisen that his Porsche 550 Spyder was "cursed" and supposedly injured or killed several others in the years following his death.

One version of the tale goes as follows:

The famous car customizer George Barris bought the wreck for $2,500, only to have it slip off its trailer and break a mechanic's leg. Soon afterwards, Barris sold the engine and drive-train, respectively, to physicians Troy McHenry and William Eschrid. While racing against each other, the former would be killed instantly when his vehicle spun out of control and crashed into a tree, while the latter would be seriously injured when his vehicle rolled over while going into a curve. Barris later sold two tires, which malfunctioned as well. The tires, which were unharmed in Dean's accident, blew up simultaneously causing the buyer's automobile to go off the road. Subsequently, two young would-be thieves were injured while attempting to steal parts from the car. When one tried to steal the steering wheel from the Porsche, his arm was ripped open on a piece of jagged metal. Later, another man was injured while trying to steal the bloodstained front seat. This would be the final straw for Barris, who decided to store "Little Bastard" away, but was quickly persuaded by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to lend the wrecked car to a highway safety exhibit.

The first exhibit from the CHP featuring the car ended unsuccessfully, as the garage storing the Spyder went up in flames, destroying everything except the car itself, which suffered almost no damage whatsoever from the fire. The second display, at a Sacramento high school, ended when the car fell, breaking a student's hip. "Little Bastard" caused problems while being transported several times. On the way to Salinas, the truck containing the vehicle lost control, causing the driver to fall out, only to be crushed by the Porsche after it fell off the back. On two separate occasions, once on a freeway and again in Oregon, the car came off other trucks, although no injuries were reported, another vehicle's windshield was shattered in Oregon. Its last use in a CHP exhibit was in 1959. In 1960, when being returned to George Barris in Los Angeles, California, the car mysteriously vanished. It has not been seen since.[54][55]

While it has proven impossible thus far to confirm or deny all the claims in this legend, it suffers from several clear factual errors. Barris was not the initial purchaser of the wrecked 550. Rather the doctors Troy McHenry and William Eschrid, both 550 Spyder owners, purchased the car directly from the insurance company. They removed the drivetrain, steering and other mechanical components to uses as spares in their cars, then sold the shell to George Barris.[56] William Eschrid used the engine in his Lotus race car.[57] Troy McHenry was killed at a race at Pomona 1956 when the Pitman arm in his 550's steering failed, however this was not one of the "cursed" parts fitted to his 550.

Historic Auto Attractions in Roscoe, Illinois has claimed to have the last known piece of Dean's Spyder (a small chunk a few square inches in size). However this is untrue, as several other large parts are known to exist. The passenger door was on display at the Volo Auto Museum.[58] The engine (#90059) is reported to still be in the possession of the son of the late Dr. Eschrich. Lastly the restored transaxle–gearbox assembly of the Porsche (#10046) is known to be in the possession of car collector Jack Styles.[59]

Filmography

Feature films

Year Film Role Notes
1951 Fixed Bayonets! Doggie (uncredited)
1952 Sailor Beware Boxing opponent's second (uncredited)
Has Anybody Seen My Gal? Youth at soda fountain (uncredited)
1953 Trouble Along the Way Extra (uncredited)
1955 East of Eden Cal Trask Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
Jussi Award for Best Foreign Actor
Rebel Without a Cause Jim Stark
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
1956 Giant Jett Rink Golden Globe Special Achievement Award for Best Dramatic Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor

Stage

Broadway

Off-Broadway

Television

  • Father Peyton's Family Theater, "Hill Number One" (Easter Sunday, April 1, 1951)
  • The Web, "Sleeping Dogs" (February 20, 1952)
  • Studio One, "Ten Thousand Horses Singing" (March 3, 1952)
  • Lux Video Theatre, "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" (March 17, 1952)
  • Kraft Television Theatre, "Prologue to Glory" (May 21, 1952)
  • Studio One, "Abraham Lincoln" (May 26, 1952)
  • Hallmark Hall of Fame, "Forgotten Children" (June 2, 1952)
  • The Kate Smith Show, "Hounds of Heaven" (January 15, 1953)
  • Treasury Men In Action, "The Case of the Watchful Dog" (January 29, 1953)
  • You Are There, "The Capture of Jesse James" (February 8, 1953)
  • Danger, "No Room" (April 14, 1953)
  • Treasury Men In Action, "The Case of the Sawed-Off Shotgun" (April 16, 1953)
  • Tales of Tomorrow, "The Evil Within" (May 1, 1953)
  • Campbell Soundstage, "Something For An Empty Briefcase" (July 17, 1953)
  • Studio One Summer Theater, "Sentence of Death" (August 17, 1953)
  • Danger, "Death Is My Neighbor" (August 25, 1953)
  • The Big Story, "Rex Newman, Reporter for the Globe and News" (September 11, 1953)
  • Omnibus, "Glory In Flower" (October 4, 1953)
  • Kraft Television Theatre, "Keep Our Honor Bright" (October 14, 1953)
  • Campbell Soundstage, "Life Sentence" (October 16, 1953)
  • Kraft Television Theatre, "A Long Time Till Dawn" (November 11, 1953)
  • Armstrong Circle Theater, "The Bells of Cockaigne" (November 17, 1953)
  • Robert Montgomery Presents the Johnson's Wax Program, Harvest (November 23, 1953)
  • Danger, "The Little Women" (March 30, 1954)
  • Philco TV Playhouse, "Run Like A Thief" (September 5, 1954)
  • Danger, "Padlocks" (November 9, 1954)
  • General Electric Theater, "I'm A Fool" (November 14, 1954)
  • General Electric Theater, "The Dark, Dark Hour" (December 12, 1954)
  • The United States Steel Hour, "The Thief" (January 4, 1955)
  • Lux Video Theatre, "The Life of Emile Zola" (March 10, 1955) – appeared in a promotional interview for East of Eden shown after the program aired
  • Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, "The Unlighted Road" (May 6, 1955)

Biographical films

  • James Dean: Portrait of a Friend aka James Dean (1976)[60]
  • Sense Memories (PBS American Masters television biography) (2005)[61]
  • Forever James Dean (1988), Warner Home Video (1995)[62]
  • James Dean (fictionalized TV biographical film) (2001)
  • James Dean – Kleiner Prinz, Little Bastard aka James Dean – Little Prince, Little Bastard, German television biography, includes interviews with William Bast, Marcus Winslow Jr, Robert Heller (2005)[63]
  • James Dean: The Final Day features interviews with William Bast, Liz Sheridan and Maila Nurmi. Dean's bisexuality is openly discussed. Episode of Naked Hollywood television miniseries produced by The Oxford Film Company in association the BBC, aired in the US on the A&E Network, 1991.[64]
  • Living Famously: James Dean, Australian television biography includes interviews with Martin Landau, Betsy Palmer, William Bast, and Bob Hinkle (2003, 2006).[65]
  • James Dean – Mit Vollgas durchs Leben, Austrian television biography includes interviews with Rolf Weutherich and William Bast (2005).[63]
  • James Dean – Outside the Lines (2002), episode of Biography, US television documentary includes interviews with Rod Steiger, William Bast, and Martin Landau (2002).[66]

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Michael DeAngelis, Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves (Duke University Press, 2001), p. 97.
  3. ^ For more details concerning this homosexual relationship, see Billy J. Harbin, Kim Marra and Robert A. Schanke, eds., The Gay And Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era (University of Michigan Press, 2005), 133. See also Joe and Jay Hyams, James Dean: Little Boy Lost (1992), p.20, who present an account alleging Dean's molestation as a teenager by his early mentor DeWeerd and describe it as Dean's first homosexual encounter (although DeWeerd himself portrayed his relationship with Dean as a completely conventional one).
  4. ^ http://www.tft.ucla.edu/alumni/notable-actors/
  5. ^ "The unseen James Dean". The Times. March 6, 2005. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article518348.ece. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ YouTube: 1950 Pepsi commercial
  7. ^ a b c Bast, W., Surviving James Dean, New Jersey: Barricade Books, 2006.
  8. ^ On Dean's relationship with Brackett, see also Hyams, James Dean: Little Boy Lost, p.79.
  9. ^ Reise, R. The Unabridged James Dean, 1991
  10. ^ Holley, pages x-196.
  11. ^ Perry, pages 109-226.
  12. ^ Rathgeb, page 20.
  13. ^ St. Antoine, Arthur. "Interview: Dean Jeffries, Hollywood legend". Motor Trend Magazine
  14. ^ Guinness, Alec. Blessings in Disguise [Random House, 1985, ISBN 0-394-55237-7], ch. 4 (pp. 34-35)
  15. ^ YouTube - Premonition of Sir Alec Guiness
  16. ^ a b Chawkins, Steve, "Remembering a 'Giant'", Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2005.
  17. ^ Frascella, L., Weisel, A. Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause", p.233, New York: Touchstone, 2005
  18. ^ "Plot Summary for "Warner Brothers Presents"". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047786/plotsummary. Retrieved February 24, 2006. 
  19. ^ Youtube video
  20. ^ a b Perry, George, James Dean, London, New York: DK Publishing, 2005, p. 68 ("Authorized by the James Dean Estate")
  21. ^ William Bast, James Dean: a Biography, New York: Ballantine Books, 1956
  22. ^ a b c Bast, William: Surviving James Dean (Barricade Books, 2006), pp. 133, 183-232.
  23. ^ Michael DeAngelis, Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves, p. 98.
  24. ^ In his 1992 biography, James Dean: Little Boy Lost, journalist Joe Hyams, who claims to have known Dean personally, devotes an entire chapter to Dean's relationship with Angeli.
  25. ^ Bast, William, Surviving James Dean, p. 196, New Jersey: Barricade Books, 2006
  26. ^ a b c Alexander, Paul, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean, New York: Viking, 1994
  27. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean, p. 197, (2006).
  28. ^ John Howlett, James Dean: A Biography, Plexus 1997
  29. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean
  30. ^ Liz Sheridan, Dizzy & Jimmy (ReganBooks HarperCollins, 2000), pp. 144-151.
  31. ^ Riese, Randall, The Unabridged James Dean: His Life and Legacy from A to Z, p. 239, Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc., 1991.
  32. ^ Marjorie B. Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life (2000), p.140. See also "Bisexuality and Celebrity." In Rhiel and Suchoff, The Seductions of Biography, p.18.
  33. ^ Perry, G., James Dean, p. 204, New York, DK Publishing, Inc., 2005
  34. ^ David Burner, Making Peace with the 60s (Princeton University Press, 1997), p.244.
  35. ^ a b Garry Wotherspoon and Robert F. Aldrich, Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History: from Antiquity to World War II (Routledge, 2001), p.105.
  36. ^ Lisa DiCarlo (October 25, 2004). "The Top Earners For 2004". http://www.forbes.com/lists/2004/10/25/cx_2004deadcelebtears_15.html. Retrieved February 24, 2006. 
  37. ^ William Bast, James Dean: a Biography, New York: Ballantine Books, 1956.
  38. ^ Riese, Randall, The Unabridged James Dean: His Life from A to Z, Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1991, pp. 41, 238
  39. ^ Alexander, Paul, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean, New York: Viking, 1994, p. 87
  40. ^ Bast, Surviving James Dean, pp. 133, 150, 183.
  41. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean, Barricade 2006, p. 301
  42. ^ John Howlett (1997), James Dean, London: Plexus, p. 166
  43. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean, Barricade 2006, p. 230-231
  44. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean, Barricade 2006, p. 207, p.210-211
  45. ^ Val Holley, Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip (2003), p.22.
  46. ^ Donald Spoto, Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean (HarperCollins, 1996), pp.150-151. See also Val Holley, James Dean: The Biography, pp.6, 7, 8, 78, 80, 85, 94, 153.
  47. ^ John Gilmore, Live Fast – Die Young: Remembering the Short Life of James Dean (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1998).
  48. ^ See Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel, Live Fast, Die Young – The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause.
  49. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean (Barricade Books, 2006)
  50. ^ John Howlett (1997), James Dean, London: Plexus, p. 167
  51. ^ George Perry, James Dean, DK Publishing 2005
  52. ^ Joe Hyams, James Dean – Little Boy Lost, Warner Books 1992
  53. ^ William Bast, Surviving James Dean, Barricade 2006, p. 53-54, p. 135
  54. ^ Frascella, L., Weisel, A. Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause, p.295, New York: Touchstone, 2005
  55. ^ Beath, W., Wheeldon, P.,James Dean in Death: A Popular Encyclopedia of a Celebrity Phenomenon, McFarland & Co, 2005
  56. ^ http://www.356registry.org/History/Dean/index.html James Dean, 356 Driver
  57. ^ http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/BillTibbetts030EschrichWoodardPR.html
  58. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2005/AUTOS/08/30/dean_death_porsche/index.html
  59. ^ http://www.jamesdean550.com/
  60. ^ James Dean at IMDB
  61. ^ Sense Memories at IMDB
  62. ^ Forever James Dean at IMDB
  63. ^ a b James Dean – Kleiner Prinz, little Bastard film page at IMDB
  64. ^ Naked Hollywood at IMDB
  65. ^ Living Famously: James Dean at IMDB
  66. ^ Biography episode page at IMDB

Further reading

  • Alexander, Paul: Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean . Viking, 1994. ISBN 0670849510
  • Bast, William : James Dean: A Biography. Ballantine Books, 1956.
  • Bast, William : Surviving James Dean. Barricade Books, 2006. ISBN 1-56980-298-X
  • Dalton, David : James Dean-The Mutant King: A Biography. Chicago Review Press, 2001. ISBN 1-55652-398-X
  • Frascella, Lawrence and Weisel, Al : Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause. Touchstone, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-6082-1
  • Gilmore, John : Live Fast-Die Young: Remembering the Short Life of James Dean. Thunder's Mouth Press, 1998. ISBN 1-56025-169-7
  • Gilmore, John: The Real James Dean. Pyramid Books, 1975. ISBN 0-515-03814-8
  • Holley, Val: James Dean: The Biography. St. Martin's Griffin, 1996. ISBN 0-312-15156-X
  • Howell, John: James Dean: A Biography. Plexus Publishing, 1997. Second Revised Edition. ISBN 0859652432
  • Hyams, Joe; Hyams, Jay: James Dean: Little Boy Lost. Time Warner Publishing, 1992. ISBN 0446516430
  • Martinetti, Ronald: The James Dean Story, Pinnacle Books, 1975. ISBN 0-523-00633-0
  • Morrissey: James Dean Is Not Dead. Babylon books, 1983. ISBN 0 907 188 06 0
  • Perry, George: James Dean. DK Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-4053-0525-8
  • Sheridan, Liz: Dizzy & Jimmy: My Life With James Dean : A Love Story. HarperCollins Canada / Harper Trade, 2000. ISBN 0-06-039383-1
  • Spoto, Donald: Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean. Harpercollins, 1996. ISBN 0-06-017656-3

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was a charismatic American film actor who epitomized youthful angst. Dean's status as a cultural icon is likely embodied in the title of his most cited work, Rebel Without a Cause.

Contents

Unsourced

  • An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet. In the short span of his lifetime, an actor must learn all there is to know, experience all there is to experience, or approach that state as closely as possible. He must be superhuman in his efforts to store away in the core of his subconscious everything that he might be called upon to use in the expression of his art.
  • Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
  • Gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.
  • How can you measure acting in inches?
    • When told he was too short to be an actor. James Dean's actual height was 5'8.
  • I'm playing the damn bongos and the world can go to hell.
  • Most of all I like to mold and create things.
  • I think the prime reason for living in this world is discovery.
  • I'm a serious minded and intense little devil - terribly gauche and so tense that I don't see how people can stay in the same room as me. I know I couldn't tolerate myself.
  • I don't even want to be just the best. I want to grow so tall that nobody can reach me.
  • I think there is only one form of greatness for man. If a man can bridge the gap between life and death. I mean, if he can live on after he has died, then maybe he was a great man. To me the only success, the only greatness, is immortality.
  • It was an accident, although I’ve been involved in some kind of theatrical function or other since I was a child–in school, music, athletics. To me, acting is the most logical way for people’s neuroses to manifest themselves, in this great need we all have to express ourselves. To my way of thinking, an actor’s course is set even before he’s out of the cradle.
  • Only the gentle are ever really strong.
  • Since I'm only 24 years old, guess I have as good an insight into this rising generation as any other young man my age. And I've discovered that most young men do not stand like ramrods or talk like Demosthenes. Therefore, when I do play a youth, such as in Warner Bros. Rebel Without A Cause, I try to imitate life. The picture deals with the problems of modern youth. It is the romanticized conception of the juvenile that causes much of our trouble with misguided youth nowadays. I think the one thing this picture shows that's new is the psychological disproportion of the kids' demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too. But you can't show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You've got to show what it's really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds. You know, a lot of times an older boy, one of the fellows the young ones idolize, can go back to the high school kids and tell them, "Look what happened to me! Why be a punk and get in trouble with the law? Why do these senseless things just for a thrill?" I hope "Rebel Without A Cause" will do something like that. I hope it will remind them that other people have feelings. Perhaps they will say, "What do we need all that for?"If a picture is psychologically motivated, if there is truth in the relationship in it, then I think that picture will do good. I firmly believe Rebel Without A Cause is such a picture.
    • Reputedly from an interview at a preview of Rebel Without A Cause
  • Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me. I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.
  • There is no way to be truly great in this world. We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning. A fish that is in the water has no choice that he is. Genius would have it that we swim in sand. We are fish and we drown.
  • They say you can't get it on with a girl in a Porsche. That's bullshit. If you don't believe me, ask Natalie [Wood].
  • To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have. Being a good actor isn't easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I'm done.
  • Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated. You must say, 'Wait. Let me see.' And above all, you must be honest with yourself.
  • When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn’t acting. It’s following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that. So the director’s task is just that – to direct, to point the way. Then the actor takes over. And he must be allowed the space, the freedom to express himself in the role. Without that space, an actor is no more than an unthinking robot with a chest-full of push-buttons.
  • No, I am not a homosexual. But, I'm also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back
    • When asked if he was a homosexual

Misattributed

  • Live fast. Die young. Leave a good-looking corpse.

About James Dean

  • Even James Dean couldn't escape the allure, dying young leaving a good looking corpse.
  • All of us were touched by Jimmy, and he was touched by greatness.
    • Natalie Wood
  • He was very afraid of being hurt. He was afraid of opening up in case it was turned around and used against him.
  • Best goddamn man I'll ever know.
    • Rock Hudson
  • His loss was a tragedy. The world could have only gained if he should have lived.
  • A true talent! He was genuine and genius. Nobody could improvise like Jimmy. He identified with his characters and became them. He lived his life through them. He could become someone else and live many lives.
  • He lived a great life and became an everlasting hero to many.
  • I hope he is finally resting and being able to look back on his success.
  • It will never be the same without him. He will be forever missed.
  • [Dean's] death caused a loss in the movie world that our industry could ill afford. Had he lived long enough, I feel he would have made some incredible films. He had sensitivity and a capacity to express emotion.
  • I didn’t know what to do. How do you tell an eight-year-old boy his mother’s going to die? I tried. In my own stumbling way I tried to prepare Jim for it. Nowadays, he lives in a world we don’t understand too well, the actor’s world. We don’t see too much of him. But he’s a good boy, my Jim. A good boy, and I"m very proud of him. Not easy to understand, no sir. He’s not easy to understand. But he’s all man, and he’ll make his mark. Mind you, my boy will make his mark.
    • Winton Dean in Modern Screen, August 1955
  • He could look in a delicatessen window and suddenly start waving at a bowl of prunes, like they were alive. He was childish in a charming way.
    • Christine White
  • He had the greatest power of concentration I have ever encountered. He prepared himself so well in advance for any scene he was playing, that the lines were not simply something he had memorized -- they were actually a very real part of him.
    • Jim Backus
  • Jim Dean and Elvis were the spokesmen for an entire generation. When I was in acting school in New York, years ago, there was a saying that if Marlon Brando changed the way people acted, then James Dean changed the way people lived. He was the greatest actor who ever lived. He was simply a genius.
  • He would be bothered when someone would say he was mean and disrespectful. Because actually, he wasn't. They took silence to mean he cared little or nothing for them. They didn't have the insight, or didn't care to exercise the insight, in knowing that he was a shy boy that just didn't know how to approach them. Instead of making an attempt to approach him, they just, well, they just wrote him off.
    • Lew Bracker
  • He didn't show you very much. He'd challenge you to find him. Then when you'd found him, he'd still make you guess. It was an endless game with him. The thing people missed about Jimmy was his mischievousness. He was the most constantly mischievous person I think I've ever met. Full of tricks, full of magic, full of outrageousness.
    • Stuart Stern
  • Every time I go to Europe, I remember that James Dean never saw Europe, but yet I see his face everywhere. There’s James Dean, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe – windows of the Champs Elysees, discos in the south of Spain, restaurants in Sweden, t-shirts in Moscow. My life was confused and disoriented for years by his passing. My sense of destiny destroyed – the great films he would have directed, the great performances he would have given, the great humanitarian he would have become, and yet, he’s the greatest actor and star I have ever known.
    • Dennis Hopper
  • I'm obsessed. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I'm hoping to keep his memory going. It's a tribute.
    • David Loehr, Dean Archivist, The James Dean Gallery, Fairmount, Indiana
  • When I worked with him on TV, I found him to be an intelligent young actor who seemed to live only for his work. He was completely dedicated, and although a shy person, he could hold a good conversation on many wide-ranging subjects.
  • [Stuart Sutcliffe] was really our leader, and he was really into the James Dean thing. He idolized him. Stuart died young before we made the big time, but I suppose you could say that without Jimmy Dean, The Beatles would have never existed.
  • When he was interested and participating, his energy was powerful. He had the greatest of intellectual qualities – curiosity about everything.
    • Roy Schatt
  • He said, 'We both have to get married and have families. That’s what we both want; that’s what we both need.' He never talked to me like a man that was worried about cutting it [life] short or having it cut short.
    • Lew Bracker
  • I liken it to a kind of star or comet that fell through the sky and everybody still talks about it. They say, 'Ah, remember the night when you saw that shooting star?'
    • Julie Harris
  • He was the shit!
    • Leonardo Dicaprio
  • He seemed to capture that moment of youth, that moment where we’re all desperately seeking to find ourselves.
    • Dennis Hopper
  • [James Dean] was spectacularly talented, handsome in a fragile sort of way and absolutely outrageous. He was an original. Impish, compelling, magnetic, utterly winning one moment, obnoxious the next. Definitely gifted.
    • Edna Ferber, "A Kind of Magic"
  • Sometimes we’d just sit and talk, or we’d listen to music for a couple of hours at a time without saying a word. Sometimes he’d get up and dance. He used to do modern, interpretive things. Jimmy had a wonderful pantomimic gift - I couldn’t compare him to anyone else. He had a quality and style all his own.
    • Jane Withers
  • In Texas, one disgustingly hot night during the filming of Giant, he and I ate a full jar of peanut butter, a box of crackers and six Milky Ways, and drank twelve Coca-Cola's!
    • Mercedes McCambridge, "The Quality of Mercy"
  • In front of the camera, he had an instinct that was nearly uncanny. I don't recall ever working with anyone who had such a gift. I recall one scene, where he was in a shadow, and had to lift his head to the light. We explained how it should go and he played it exactly right, to the half inch, the first time. He just seemed to know how it should be, without rehearsal or anything.
    • William C. Mellor, cinematographer
  • Jamie and I were like brother and sister. He told me in fact he thought of me as a sister. Our relationship was strictly platonic and spiritual.
    • Eartha Kitt
  • Jimmy was a very close and good friend of mine. I have fond memories of Jim, the days we spent together in New York City as young actors --- walking the streets and talking about the theater and wondering about our next job, reading books and discussing them; seeing plays, seeing films; working in acting workshops and being serious young fellows about the thing we loved most, which was acting in the theater and films.
    • Martin Landau
  • Jimmy and I would do everything together. We go out drinking, watch movies, listen to music, tell stories. He was a guy's best friend. You could talk to Jimmy and he'd understand.
  • He was awkward, shy, and not at all full of himself. That's rare for an actor.
  • Jim had a year away from Warner Brothers. We had planned to use that time to get our company started. We would have done both feature pictures and a television series, which would have allowed Jim to break in as a director. I think he would have been a great director.
    • Nicholas Ray
  • To the ranchers and the people around there, he was just as nice as could be. Dean came to me and said, 'Bob, I want to be a Texan twenty-four hours a day. I’d like for you to work with me. I’ll even pay you out of my pocket.' So I got him some clothes and boots and he starts talking like a Texan every day.
    • Bob Hinkle
  • We took a walk that first day, and there was a building going up near Sixth Avenue, and we virtually became sidewalk superintendents by barking orders to people. And we proceeded to go over to Rockefeller Center where there was a young girl skating, and we applauded her and she did her command performance. Our minds, our ability to fantasize, and our ability to communicate was kind of an instant thing. I had an amazingly instant rapport with him, and as a result we became friends immediately. He used to come out to my house, my parents’ house in Queens, and my little nephews adored him. [We had] Christmases and Thanksgivings [together]. We were sort of a surrogate family.
    • Martin Landau, on their first meeting
  • He turned out to be a fascinating and intelligent young man who talked fluently about artists in music. And he was surprisingly knowledgeable about such recondite composers as Schönberg and Bartók.
  • While we were making Giant, I think we all knew that young Jimmy Dean was giving a performance that not even the extreme adjectives of Hollywood could adequately sum up. It’s not often a unit gets a feeling like that.
    • William C. Mellor
  • What I remember most about him was the little boy quality shining forth at you from behind those thick glasses of his, tearing at your heart. He had that extreme and touching idealism of youth which made you wish that he would never have to be disillusioned. Now he won’t be.
    • Louella Parsons
  • Jimmy Dean loved the feel of Indiana soil under his feet and I think that was the source of much of his strength.
    • Adeline Nall
  • It wasn’t so much a matter of whom I was acting with, it was whom I was watching… Marlon Brando, Maureen Stapleton, Geraldine Page, Jimmy Dean … a pretty hotshot group.
    • Paul Newman, on his apprenticeship at the Actors Studio
  • Actually, the person I related to was James Dean. I grew up with the Dean thing. Rebel Without A Cause had a very powerful effect on me.
  • The only time I ever worked with James Dean was in a 1953 off-Broadway production called The Scarecrow. He played the Scarecrow’s reflection in the mirror. He was an unknown then but he was jolly good in every way. I knew then that he was born to become an actor.
    • Patricia Neal
  • Jimmy was not only an internal actor, but an expressionist, which came partly from his studying dance. He would physicalize actions, such as the way he lifted himself up on the windmill in Giant, or goose-stepped measuring off the land, or his sleight-of-hand gesture as Jett Rink. He had the amazing capacity to pick up and learn a new trick almost immediately, tossing a rope and making a knot, a card trick from a magician, coin tricks, racing a car...
    • Dennis Hopper
  • I have never seen an actor as dedicated, with the extreme concentration and exceptional imagination as James Dean. He could take the written imaginary circumstance and make it his own by improvising - lying on the ground in a fetal position playing with a wound-up toy monkey beating its cymbals, giggling while being searched in the police station because it tickled, standing up in a drunken daze making the sound of sirens with his arms outstretched, hitting his fists into the sergeant’s desk, jumping off a diving board into a swimming pool with no water, or doing the voice of Mr. Magoo throughout the movie, which was the voice of Jim Backus, his father in Rebel - things that were not written on the page, things that were invented by the actor.
    • Dennis Hopper
  • I would like to go to Indiana and mess with James Dean's soil, but so many others have done it. They've taken away the monument, they've taken away the stone and they've taken away the grass. People have been so greedy. What's left for me?
  • It's a good thing Dean died when he did. If he'd lived, he'd never have been able to live up to the publicity.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

James Dean
File:James Dean in East of Eden trailer
as Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955)
Born James Byron Dean
February 8, 1931(1931-02-08)
Marion, Indiana, United States
Died September 30, 1955 (aged 24)
Years active 1951–1955

James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American movie actor. He was famous for his part in a movie called Rebel Without a Cause. He was in two other movies called East of Eden and Giant. He got an Academy Award (Oscar) nomination after he died. He was the first person to get this nomination after they had died.

Contents

Early life

James Dean was born in 1931 in Marion, Indiana, United States. His parents were called Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson. Six years later, the family moved to California, and James went to school in Los Angeles. He was very close to his mother.[1] She died of cancer when he was nine, and James went to live with his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. In high school, he became interested in drama and car racing. After he graduated, he moved back to California to live with his father and stepmother. He attended Santa Monica College and UCLA,[2] but left college in 1951 to become a professional actor.

Death

In 1955, Dean was killed in a car crash while driving his sports car to a race. He was buried in Fairmount, Indiana.

References

  1. Michael DeAngelis, Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves (Duke University Press, 2001), p. 97.
  2. http://www.tft.ucla.edu/alumni/notable-actors/

Other websites








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