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James Dean (8 February 1931 – 30 September 1955) was an American film actor and a cultural icon. He was best presented in his most famous film title, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark.

The other two roles that defined his acting were as Loner Cal Trask in East of Eden, and as an irritable farmer Jet Rink in Giant. Dean’s everlasting fame and popularity are based on these three films, with his entire output in a leading role. His death at an early age cemented his mythological status.

He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and still remains the only person to receive two nominations for posthumous acting. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Dean 18th as the Best Male Performer in their AFI’s 100-year list of stars.

early life

James Dean was born to Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson on February 8, 1931 at Seven Gables Apartment House in Marion, Indiana. Six years after his father left farming to become a dentist technician, James and his family moved to Santa Monica, California.

His family spent many years there and based on all the available details young Jimmy was very close to his mother. According to Michel de Angelis, she was “the only person capable of understanding him”. He was bharti in the Brenthood neighborhood of Los Angeles when his mother died of cancer when Dean was nine years old.

The dean sought advice and friendship from the regent clergyman Reverend James Deviard. DeWeard seemed to have a creative influence on Dean, especially in future interests in bullfighting, car racing and theater. According to Billy J. Harbin, “Dean had an intimate relationship with his pastor.”

Which began in the final year of his high school and remained permanent for many years. ” In high school, Dean’s overall performance was mediocre, but he was a popular high school athlete who collaborated with baseball and basketball teams. Successfully played sports and studied drama and competed in Forensic Medicine through the Indiana High School Forensic Association. After graduating from Fairmount High School on May 16, 1949, Dean was accompanied by his hunting dog, Max, to his father and stepmother. Moved back to California to live with.

He enrolled in Santa Monica College (SMCC) and made pre-law an important subject. However at UCLA, he left behind 350 actors to play the role of Malcolm in Macbeth. At that time, he also began acting in James Whitmore’s acting workshop. In January 1951, he left UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.

acting career

Dean’s first television appearance was in a television commercial for Pepsi Cola. He left college to work full-time, and he featured on the television special program Hill Number One on Easter, as the beloved disciple John and the faired bayonets! Sailor Beware and Has Anybody Seen My Gall? He performed three dialogueless roles in films called.

His only dialogue part was in a major comedy called Sailor Beware, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; Dean acted as a boxing instructor. And also provided professional assistance and guidance regarding the place of stay.

In October 1951, on the advice of actor James Whitmore and his mentor Rogers Brackett, Dean moved to New York City. In New York, he worked as a stunt tester on the Beat the Clock game show. He also appeared in various CBS television series serials, The Web, Studio One, and Lux ​​Video Theater, before gaining admission to the studios of famous actors to study acting method under Lee Strasberg.

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Proud of this achievement, Dean in a letter to his family in 1952 referred to the studio as “the largest theater school”. It had great people like Marlon Brando, Julie Harris, Arthur Kennedy, Mildred Dunnock … … very few people get admitted to it … it’s the best thing that can happen to an actor. is. I am one of the youngest people related to him.His career flourished, and he starred in further serials such as Kraft Television Theater, Robert Montgomery Presentations, Denzer, and General Electric Theater in early 1950s television appearances.

His 1954 theatrical role as “Bachir”, a North African domestic servant, in a adaptation of André Gide’s book The Immortalist, brought him positive reviews from Hollywood.

Racing career and ‘Little Bastard’

When Dean got a role in East of Eden, he bought himself a MG race designed for a red race and a white Ford Country Square Woody station wagon shortly thereafter. Dean gave his MG a Porsche 356 Speedster (Chachis number 82621) in which he raced.

Dean finished second in the Palm Springs road race competition after being disqualified by a cunning in 1955; He finished third at the Bakersfield in May 1955, and later that month he was running fourth by the time he ran out of engine failure in the Santa Monica road race.

During the filming of Rebel Without a Cause, Dean sold a 356 Speedster’s 90 Porsche in exchange for 550 Spiders. He was barred from racing under contract during the filming of Giant, but after his removal from the road, he was free to compete again. In fact, Porsche was an improvisation for Dean until the delivery of a better Lotus MK. X’s delivery was delayed and he needed a car to compete in races in Salinas, California.

Dean’s 550 was custom-built by George Barriss, who designed the Batmobile. Dean’s Porsche had 130 numbers on the front, side and rear. The seating area of ​​the car was fitted with a charcoal cloth and two red stripes in the rear of its wheelwell. The car was nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’ by his language instructor Bill Hickman during the joint. Dean asked the car painter and pin striker Dean Jeffrey to paint a little bastard on the car as per his interest.

When Dean introduced himself to Alec Guinness outside a restaurant, he asked him to take a look at Spider. Guinness called the car ‘unlucky’ and told Dean: “If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week”. The meeting took place on 23 September 1955, seven days before Dean’s death.


On 30 September 1955, Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wutherich parted with the Competition Motors, preparing their Porsche 550 Spyder that morning for a sports car race in Salinas, California. Dean originally wanted a Porsche trailer at the intersection of Salinash behind his New Ford Country Square station wagon, equipped with Hickman and photographer Sanford Roth, who were planning to produce Dean’s illustrated story in the races. In the final moments, Dean drives the Spider, deciding he needs more time to get himself acquainted with the car.

At 3:30 in the afternoon, Dean received 65 mi / h (105 km / h) 65 mi / h (105 km / h) in an area of ​​55 mi / h (89 km / h). Hour) was fined at Metler Station, Kern County for driving at a speed of. Ford’s driver was fined for driving at speeds exceeding 20 mi / h 20 mi / h (32 km / h) (32 km / h), as the prescribed speed limit for all vehicles towing the trailer was 45 The mile / hour was 45 mi / h (72 km / h) (72 km / h). Later, leaving Ford far behind, he stopped at Blackwells Corner in Lost Hills for fuel and met fellow racer Lens Reventlow.

James Dean was driving west on Colme, California (near US Route 466 (later State Route 46)) when a black-and-white 1950 Ford custom Tudor coupe, called 23-year-old Kel Poly student Donald Turnspeed, from the opposite side K was driving, attempted to drive on the state route and crossed the lane without seeing Dean.

The two cars almost collided face-to-face. In an October 1, 2005 version of the Los Angeles Times According to one story, California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Nelson and his companions were drinking coffee at Paso Robles when they were called to the crash site, where they saw a stunned but deeply incensed Dean carrying an ambulance. He was thrown from the car, but survived with a broken jaw and other injuries.

Dean was brought to the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:59 by a doctor who was caring for the emergency room. Gone. Just before he died, his last words were “That boy has to stop … he meets us Singing.

According to the post-mortem report, it is believed that Dean’s head was hurt by a grill in front of another car. Dean suffered a broken neck as a result of this injury as well as a collision, in addition to extensive injuries to the broken jaw, arms and legs, as well as extensive internal injuries.

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He became healthy and started an electrical contracting business and died of lung cancer in 1995. Wutrich died in 1981 in Germany in a road accident after several suicide attempts.

private life

According to Dean’s family, William Bast was one of Dean’s closest friends. Dean’s first biographer (1956), Bast was his roommate at UCLA in New York and was in his life for five years. Shortly after Dean’s death, he stated that he and Dean were lovers.

Early in Dean’s career, when he signed a contract with the Warner brothers, his public relations department gave rise to several stories of Dean’s relationships with young actresses created by Dean’s Hollywood agent, Dick Clitone Were.

Dean’s best-remembered relationship was with the young Italian actress, Peer Angeli, whom he met during the shooting of The Silver Kallis with Angeli and with whom he exchanged jewelry as a token of love.

It is believed that Angelie’s mother rejected the relationship because Dean was not a Roman Catholic. In her autobiography, Ist of Eden, director Elia Kazan, denying the apprehension that Dean may have a woman in success, contradictorily cites the “romance” of Dean and Angeli, claiming that she made Dean’s dressing appearance.

James Dean -Angeli’s love affair for a very short time was also encouraged by James Dean himself, who revealed this to several gossip columnists and his fellow-star Julie Herris, who stated in interviews that Dean had told him with Angeli It was said that there is a lot of love. However, in early October of 1954, Angelie unexpectedly announced Dean’s engagement with Italian-American singer Vic Domaine, further exacerbating Dean’s uneasiness.

Angeli married Domine the following month, and Gossip columnists reported that Dean, or someone dressed like him, saw the wedding sitting on a bike from across the street. However, when Bast questions him about these news, Dean denies that he must have “fooled so much …” and, like Paul Alexander, Bast believes that the two had a mere publicity stunt.

Actress Liz Sheriden claims that she and Dean had a brief relationship in New York. Describing it in her memoir, she also states that Dean had a sexual relationship with Rogers Brackett and describes her negative response to the situation.