24 (passed away Sep. 30th, 1955)
Feb. 8th, 1931
Marion, Indiana, USA
James Dean's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James Dean was raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. He received rave reviews for his work as the blackmailing Arab boy in the New York production of Gide's "The Immoralist", good enough to earn him a trip to Hollywood. His early film efforts were strictly bit parts: a sailor in the Dean Martin (I) and Jerry Lewis (I) overly frantic musical comedy Sailor Beware (1952); a GI in Samuel Fuller's moody study of a platoon in the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets! (1951) and a youth in the Piper Laurie-Rock Hudson comedy Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952). He had major roles in only three movies. In the Elia Kazan production of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1955) he played Caleb, the "bad" brother who couldn't force affection from his stiff-necked father. His true starring role, the one which fixed his image forever in American culture, was that of the brooding red-jacketed teenager Jim Stark in Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause (1955). George Stevens (I)' filming of Edna Ferber's Giant (1956), in which he played the non-conforming cowhand Jett Rink, was just coming to a close when Dean, driving his Porsche Spyder, collided with another car in Cholame, California. He had received a speeding ticket just two hours before. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicized funeral transformed him into a cult object of apparently timeless fascination.
- Most of his so-called affairs with various starlets were made up by the Warner Brothers PR. He did have love affairs with 'Pier Angeli' (qv) and 'Liz Sheridan (I)' (qv).
- Dean's acting breakthrough came on Broadway in the drama "See the Jaguar", despite its run of less than a week (only 4 days).
- Was Oscar nominated in two-thirds of his films, a record which will probably never be bettered.
- Like his hero 'Marlon Brando' (qv) (Dean had been separated from his own father as a child and was distant from him. Brando apparently served as a role model for Dean) Dean wanted to write. He told gossip columnist 'Hedda Hopper' (qv) that writing was his supreme ambition.
- In her book "Dizzy and Jimmy", 'Liz Sheridan (I)' (qv) claims she and Dean were engaged.
- Was originally considered for the leading role in _Oklahoma! (1955)_ (qv).
- The famous Failure Analysis Associates, from Menlo Park, California, re-constructed and re-created all details of the accident at the same approximate time on September 30th and have concluded that James Dean was travelling 55 to 56 m.p.h. when the fateful accident occurred, thereby proving he had not been speeding, as rumor had it.
- He was given a Siamese cat as gift by 'Elizabeth Taylor (I)' (qv).