Much like Elvis, James Dean had a impact on the lives of many us who grew up in the fifties.  James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in an apartment house in Marion Indiana.  His father, a dental technician, moved the family to Los Angeles when James was 5 years old.  After his mother died of cancer in 1940, he returned to Indiana and he was raised by his aunt and uncle on a farm in Fairmount, IndianaEven though, he lived a very short life, he made a total of ten films and was twice nominated for an Oscar.  The number one song in the US at the time of Dean's death was the Yellow Rose of Texas which was featured in Giant in a scene following the actor's last appearance in that film.

James Dean's first starring role was in the 1955 film East of Eden, an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1952 novel. Ironically, this was the only movie in which he starred that he ever saw released.  Dean quickly followed up his role in East of Eden with a starring role in Rebel Without a Cause.   Rebel Without a Cause was a huge favorite of teenagers all across the country.

He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.  At the 1955 Academy Awards, he received a posthumous Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in East of Eden.  At the 1956 Academy Awards, he received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in Giant.

Two weeks after shooting his last scene in Giant, James Dean was killed in a tragic accident on September 30, 1955.  He was on his way to compete in a race in Salinas, CA when a college student from Cal Tech turned into the path of his Porche Spyder 550.  James Dean died on impact at the age of 24.  He is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana.

James Dean became an American Legend of rebellion for teens of the 50s as well as future generations. He became a Hollywood legend portraying moody, sensitive and often rebellious characters. He represented the misunderstood teens of the 1950s.  His name is instantly linked to rebellion which may explain why his legend has endured for over 50 years.  He continues to be idolized by teenagers all over the world as a symbol of eternal youth!




Films James Dean Starred In

East Of Eden - 1955 - also starred Raymond Massey, Julie Harris & Burl Ives
Rebel With Out A Cause - 1955 - co-starred Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo & Dennis Hopper
Giant - 1956 - also starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper & Sal Mineo


Films James Dean Performed In

Has Anybody Seen My Girl - 1952 - starred Rock Hudson
I Am A Fool  - 1954 - co-starred Natalie Wood
Women Of Trachis - 1954 - Julie Harris & Eli Wallach
Trouble Along The Way - 1953 - starred John Wayne
Sailor Beware - 1951 - starred Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis
The Dark, Dark Hours - 1954 -  Ronald Reagan was also in this movie
The Immoralist - 1954 - Geraldine Page & Louis Jourdan were also in this movie