James Dean

Biography

James Dean was born in 1931 and raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to New York to pursue his dream of acting. 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 and Jerry Lewis 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' filming of Edna Ferber's Giant (1956), in which he played the non-conforming cowhand Jett Rink who strikes it rich when he discovers oil, was just coming to a close when Dean, driving his Porsche Spyder race car, collided with another car while on the road near Cholame, California on September 30, 1955. He had received a speeding ticket just two hours before. James Dean was killed almost immediately from the impact from a broken neck. He was 24. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicized funeral transformed him into a cult object of apparently timeless fascination.

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Birth Name

James Byron Dean

Birth Place

Marion, Indiana, USA

Birth Date

2/8/1931

Death Date

9/30/1955
Known For
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Rebel Without a Cause

Jim Stark

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East of Eden

Cal Trask

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Giant

Jett Rink

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The James Dean Story

Himself ('East of Eden' screen test footage) (archive footage)

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ICU

Ricky Dickson

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Bettie Page: The Girl in the Leopard Print Bikini

Himself (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Gesichter Des Todes VII

(archive footage)

Movie Poster

Faces of Torture

(archive footage)

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Children of Giant

Self (archive footage)

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West Side Story - Bernsteins Broadway-Hit

Self (archive footage)

Starring In
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Death of a Cheerleader

Eli

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West Side Story - Bernsteins Broadway-Hit

Self (archive footage)

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The Disaster Artist

Jim Stark (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Another Mother's Son

Russian POW

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The Fabulous Allan Carr

Self (archive footage)

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Tab Hunter Confidential

Himself (archive footage)

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Children of Giant

Self (archive footage)

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Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen

(archive footage)

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ICU

Ricky Dickson

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Vigilante

Matt

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James Dean: Forever Young

Self (archive footage)

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Bettie Page: The Girl in the Leopard Print Bikini

Himself (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Elizabeth Taylor: A Musical Celebration

(archive footage) (uncredited)

Movie Poster

The James Dean Story

Himself ('East of Eden' screen test footage) (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory

(archive footage) (uncredited)

Movie Poster

Gesichter Des Todes VII

(archive footage)

Movie Poster

Death Scenes 2: Uncensored Scenes of Death

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Movie Poster

Faces of Torture

(archive footage)

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George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey

Self (archive footage)

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Hollywood Out-Takes and rare Footage

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

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One from the Heart

Understudy

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Giant

Jett Rink

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Rebel Without a Cause

Jim Stark

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East of Eden

Cal Trask

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Trouble Along the Way

Football Spectator (uncredited)

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Deadline U.S.A.

Copyboy (uncredited) (unconfirmed)

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Sailor Beware

Boxing Opponent's Second (uncredited)

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Has Anybody Seen My Gal

Youth at Soda Fountain (uncredited)

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Fixed Bayonets!

Doggie (uncredited)

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Federal Men, Vol. 2

Arbie Ferris / ... (2 episodes, 1953)

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