Although James Dean remains forever at 24, with his cigarette that will never burn completely, more than 60 decades after his death, he is one of the unforgettable true legends of the golden years of American cinema, apart from his unchanging cigarette and his never-ending charm, the thirst for life. To this day, Hollywood is looking for its James Dean.
James Dean posed for a photo in a black sweater in the 50s. (Photo: Getty Images)
The young actor has only three films in his career – “East of Paradise” (1955) by Elijah Kazan, starring Cal Trask, his trademark as Jim Stark in “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955) by Nicholas Ray and Jet Ring in “Giant” (1956) by George Stevens.
James Dean with Swiss actress Ursula Andres, 1954 (Photo: Getty Images)
All three key roles he plays become Hollywood classics, but he sees only “East of Paradise” as a finished film.
James Dean was only 24 years old when, on September 30, 1955, he drove his new Porsche 550 Spyder at excessive speed, another car collided with his and he died immediately on the spot.
The fact that his life and career in cinema were interrupted by his ridiculous death plays a role in making his figure truly legendary. It becomes a mystery, a mystery that will always remain unsolved. But interest in her will not subside.
Who was the man behind the Hollywood sex symbol? Here are some interesting facts about him that can give us an idea of who the man behind the elusive James Dean is.
Problems with the family
Dean was born in Marion, Indiana, on February 8, 1931. His father, Dean Winton, left the farm to become a dentist, but the family moved to Santa Monica, California. When Dean was 9, his mother died of cancer and his family, as well as his entire world, fell apart. His father sends him back to Indiana to live with his aunt and uncle because he can’t take care of him. Then comes the alienation between the two, which will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Dean vs Marlon Brando
Dean had a lot of respect for another great actor, Marlon Brando. While Dean had just appeared in Hollywood, Brando was already successful with his role as Stanley Kowalski in “Tram Desire” (1951), the role of Johnny Stabler in “The Wild” (1953) and the Oscar that won for his role as Terry Maloy. in the film On the Quay (1954). James Dean was quite active in trying to get closer to Marlon Brando, but his attempts at social contact with the already successful actor hit a snag – Brando did not respond to his attempts at friendship.
“I gave him the name and phone number of a psychoanalyst and he left. At least his work has improved, ”Brando said.
Dean wanted to be Billy the Kid
In his short career, Dean played fictional nonconformists who followed their own rules, but if he had lived longer, he might have taken on the role of a real bully. He loved to read and reread the book “The Real Life of Billy the Kid” and often said that he wanted to play the legendary bandit in the Wild West.
He confused Ronald Reagan with his acting method
Before breaking into cinema, Dean worked in television – and live. A supporter of improvisation, in one show he leaves the script, throws a few newly invented lines to his colleague, actor and future president Ronald Reagan, who was completely confused by Dean’s acting method. Reagan is not the only one who did not like Dean’s spontaneity.
“Just make him say the lines that are written“, Shares the actor, worked with him.
His sexuality is a mystery
Although Dean was briefly engaged to actress Pierre Angeli, his sexuality is the subject of debate. A number of Dean’s biographers doubt that his relationship with Angeli was physical. Some biographers claim that he was bisexual; others characterize him as a homosexual who has had one or two brief relationships with women. It is said that his first sexual experience occurred as a teenager when a local politician seduced him.
Dean loved to do tricks
Apart from the magic with which he holds his cigarette hanging from his mouth, James Dean really had something to do with the art of magic and illusionism. When he wasn’t playing or racing cars, he pursued his hobby. Knowing that the cigarette is an integral part of his charm, Dean did tricks with it – he put an unlit cigarette and a lighted match in his mouth, and then took out a burning cigarette.