James Dean

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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(1955-09-30) (aged 24)
Chalome, California, U.S.
Cause of death Car crash
Nationality American
Other names Jimmy Dean
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–1955
Notable works Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American movie actor. He was best known 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.

Early life[change | change source]

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.

In an interview, Elizabeth Taylor told something which James Dean had said to her during their filming. After his mother’s death, when he was 11 years, he was sexually harassed by a Protestant minister. This experience tortured him during all his whole childhood.[3]

Death[change | change source]

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

References[change | change source]

  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/
  3. Elizabeth Taylor Interview About Her AIDS Advocacy von Kevin Sessums in "The Daily Beast"

Other websites[change | change source]