James Byron Dean
James was an American actor born in 1931. His life lasted only 24 short years. He died in a car accident in 1955.
James Byron Dean is remembered as a cultural icon, a sex symbol and a legendary Hollywood bad boy, whose image has been impressing both men and women more than 60 years after his death.
He starred in only 3 movies – Rebel Without a Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956). In his early career, Dean filmed commercials, the most popular of which was the one for Pepsi, and had some small insignificant roles with few lines of text, waiting for his big Hollywood breakthrough. Sadly, when he finally got his chance and as his star was rising high above the Hollywood sky, his young life was interrupted, although his star continues to shine bright.
James was the first actor ever to get a posthumous acting nomination in the history of the Academy Awards. He was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “East of Eden”. Later on, he received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in “Giant”.
Dean’s childhood was carefree until his mother died of cancer. They had a relationship full of love and understanding. He was 9 years old at that time. After his mother’s death, his father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle in Indiana. He rarely talked with his father.
Unlike his reputation, James was actually a good student and a popular kid in school. He played the violin, bongo drums and took tap dance lessons and at the same time, he played basketball and baseball. A gifted young man. He quit college to fulfill his dream to become an actor.
Hollywood’s bad boy
James Dean had a great passion for racing cars and that passion took his life. He filmed a promo video about safe driving, saying he is always careful and extra cautious while at the wheel. Unfortunately, he died soon after that interview, so it was never released. Interestingly, he got a speeding ticket only two hours before his death. If only that had slowed him down. When he wasn’t acting or driving race cars, he loved to practice magic tricks. He died driving a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder Convertible, the “Little Bastard”.
There was a lot of speculations about Dean’s sexual orientation but in one of the interviews, James said – “No, I am not a homosexual. But I’m also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back.” He had a zest for life and he was exploring it to it’s fullest.
It’s funny that James Dean is remembered as one of the best looking men of our century, but he never cared about his appearance. He wore dirty old yeans, putting his comfort in front of fashion and style. Jeans, a cigarette in the corner of his lips, dreamy eyes and a deep voice will always be a trademark of Dean’s bad boy’s charm.
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