James Dean - Film & Theater Personalities, Facts and Life

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James Dean's Personal Details

James Dean was an American actor best known for his performance in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 8, 1931
Died onSeptember 30, 1955
NationalityAmerican
FamousBisexual, Died Young, University Of California, Los Angeles, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
City/StateIndiana
SiblingsOrtense
Known asJames Byron Dean
Universities
  • University Of California, Los Angeles
  • Fairmount High School
  • Santa Monica College (SMC)
Notable Alumnis
  • University Of California
  • Los Angeles
Cause of deathCar Accident
Birth PlaceMarion, Indiana, U.S
GenderMale
FatherWinton Dean
MotherMildred Wilson
Net Worth$1 million
Sun SignAquarius
Born inMarion, Indiana, U.S
Famous asActor
Died at Age24

// Famous Bisexual

James Dean's photo

Who is James Dean?

The young and handsome protagonist of the drama film ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, James Dean was a highly talented actor who was snatched away too soon from the face of the earth. Aged just 24 at the time of his death, James had already achieved a lot more in his short life than many others achieve over a longer period of time. With his portrayal of a disillusioned teenager in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, he became a cultural icon of sorts. The 1950s was a period of great confusion and chaos in the American society with young people trying hard to break free of the restrictions elders and the society placed on them. Released at such a time, youngsters could easily identity with the character he portrayed. Dean had himself experienced a difficult childhood and could thus portray on the screen his heart felt anguish and vulnerability. Having lost his mother to cancer when he was a little boy, he struggled hard to get over her death and move on. He chose to study drama in college which angered his father and added to the youngster’s list of woes. However he proved to be a natural at acting and was soon hailed as an emerging superstar. An automobile accident claimed his life bringing an abrupt ending to a promising young life.

// Famous Actors

Childhood & Early Life

He was born to Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson in Indiana. His father, who once worked in farming, became a dental technician to improve his prospects.

The family moved to California and James attended Brentwood Public School for a while before joining the McKinley Elementary School. He was a mediocre student.

He was very close to his mother who he felt was the only person who understood him. Unfortunately his mother became sick with cancer and died when the boy was just nine years old.

He proved to be a popular student in high school and he played on the school’s baseball and basketball teams. He also studied drama and practiced public speaking. He graduated from Fairmount High School in 1949.

He enrolled at the Santa Monica College (SMC) where he majored in pre-law. However, he realized that he did not want to be a lawyer but an actor. Thus he transferred to UCLA where he changed his major to drama. This angered his father and the two became estranged.

The talented young man was chosen from a group of 350 actors to play Malcolm in ‘Macbeth’ while at UCLA. He did not complete his studies and instead dropped out in 1951 to pursue a career in acting.

Career

His entry into television was in a Pepsi Cola television commercial. He found a role in the comedy ‘Sailors Beware’ which also had Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. The initial years were very difficult for him and he often took up part-time jobs to make ends meet.

He moved to New York City and enrolled at the Actors Studio to study under Lee Strasberg. While in New York he worked as a stunt tester for the game show, ‘Beat the Clock’.

Over the early 1950s he played small roles in various television programs such as ‘Family Theater’ (1951), ‘The Bigelow Theatre’ (1951), ‘CBS Television Workshop’ (1952), and ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame’ (1952).

He starred in an Off-Broadway production of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’ in 1952. It revolves around the tale of a man who finds himself being transformed into a large, monstrous insect-like creature.

In 1954, he appeared in the Broadway production of ‘The Immoralist’, which tells the story of a gay man who marries a woman hoping that the marriage would help him deal with his homosexual desires.

He played a role in the 1954 Off-Broadway play, ‘The Scarecrow’ which was about a woman who creates a scarecrow with human-like properties with the help of witchcraft and tries to use it to seek revenge on her former lover who deserted her during her pregnancy.

In 1955, he played the role of Cal, a young man who feels that his father always prefers his brother Aron over him. It was the first major role Dean played and received considerable appreciation for his acting skills.

In 1955, he starred in what would become his best remembered role when he was chosen to play an angst ridden teenager in the movie, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. This movie became highly popular with teenagers who could easily identify with the character he played.

Major Works

He played the lead role in ‘East of Eden’ which is about a young man who vies for the attention of his religious father who always seems to prefer his brother. This film was the only major film of his to be released during his lifetime.

His portrayal of Jim Stark in the iconic movie, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ catapulted him to stardom. His moody character lent itself perfectly to the image of the disturbed teenager he was playing.

Awards & Achievements

He won the Golden Globe Special Achievement Award for Best Dramatic Actor for his portrayal of Cal Trask in ‘East of Eden’ (1955). This role also earned him a Jussi Award for Best Foreign Actor and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Personal Life & Legacy

His sexuality was often a matter of discussion in the film world. One of his best friends, William Bast revealed years after Dean’s death that the two had a sexual relationship.

He also dated many women including the actress Beverly Wills, Barbara Glenn, and Liz Sheridan. He had a much publicized affair with the beautiful Italian actress Pier Angeli.

He loved car racing from a young age. On 30 September, 1955 he along with his mechanic was driving to a weekend race in California when his car had a head-on collision with another. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Trivia

This actor was the first one to get a posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history.

// Famous Died Young

James Dean awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

1957World Film Favorite - MaleWinner

James Dean biography timelines

  • // 18th Feb 1931
    He was born to Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson in Indiana. His father, who once worked in farming, became a dental technician to improve his prospects.
  • // 1949
    He proved to be a popular student in high school and he played on the school’s baseball and basketball teams. He also studied drama and practiced public speaking. He graduated from Fairmount High School in 1949.
  • // 1952
    He starred in an Off-Broadway production of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’ in 1952. It revolves around the tale of a man who finds himself being transformed into a large, monstrous insect-like creature.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, he appeared in the Broadway production of ‘The Immoralist’, which tells the story of a gay man who marries a woman hoping that the marriage would help him deal with his homosexual desires.
  • // 1954
    He played a role in the 1954 Off-Broadway play, ‘The Scarecrow’ which was about a woman who creates a scarecrow with human-like properties with the help of witchcraft and tries to use it to seek revenge on her former lover who deserted her during her pregnancy.
  • // 1955
    In 1955, he played the role of Cal, a young man who feels that his father always prefers his brother Aron over him. It was the first major role Dean played and received considerable appreciation for his acting skills.
  • // 1955
    In 1955, he starred in what would become his best remembered role when he was chosen to play an angst ridden teenager in the movie, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. This movie became highly popular with teenagers who could easily identify with the character he played.

// Famous Alumni of University Of California, Los Angeles

James Dean's FAQ

  • What is James Dean birthday?

    James Dean was born at 1931-02-08

  • When was James Dean died?

    James Dean was died at 1955-09-30

  • Where was James Dean died?

    James Dean was died in Cholame, California, U.S

  • Which age was James Dean died?

    James Dean was died at age 24

  • Where is James Dean's birth place?

    James Dean was born in Marion, Indiana, U.S

  • What is James Dean nationalities?

    James Dean's nationalities is American

  • Who is James Dean siblings?

    James Dean's siblings is Ortense

  • What was James Dean universities?

    James Dean studied at University Of California, Los Angeles, Fairmount High School, Santa Monica College (SMC)

  • What was James Dean notable alumnis?

    James Dean's notable alumnis is University Of California, Los Angeles

  • What is James Dean's cause of dead?

    James Dean dead because of Car Accident

  • Who is James Dean's father?

    James Dean's father is Winton Dean

  • Who is James Dean's mother?

    James Dean's mother is Mildred Wilson

  • What is James Dean's sun sign?

    James Dean is Aquarius

  • How famous is James Dean?

    James Dean is famouse as Actor