Before I decided on writing a post on James Dean my knowledge on the acting legend extended little further than knowing that he was an acting legend and that he is repeatedly mentioned in the chorus of "Famous" by Scouting for Girls. I also knew he died young and had some faint idea that it was in some sort of road accident, in which I later found out for certain that it was.
Then I started browsing images on weheartit and Google. By this point I was positive that I had to do a post on him. I know he would be my older that my granddad if he was still alive but he died at the young age of twenty four when he was still looking dashingly handsome (I think that's how they would describe him in the early 50s which was when he was in his prime, nowadays, of course, the favoured terms are bangtidy, hot, fit reem etc.)
He only ever played lead roles in three films (two of which were released the year of his death and one of which was released the year after his death.) These were Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant. The reason he is such a legend is not because of his lengthy filmography but more for his young death and for being such a Hollywood heart throb.
He also spoke some very wise words for someone so young. "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today" and "The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results" are my favourite James Dean quotes.
Ironically he was stopped for speeding and given a ticket shortly before the crash that killed him.
He is buried in Indiana where he was born. A bronze bust of him has been stolen from the cemetery not once but twice and there are lipstick stains all over his headstone.
He was born on a farm but moved to California when his father got a new job in dentistry. However, when his mother died from cancer, he returned to Indiana to live with his aunt and uncle.
Elizabeth Taylor, another deceased Hollywood icon, who co-starred with Dean in Giant, gave him a pet Siamese kitten.
He was in a Pepsi advert which was his first ever TV appearance in 1950 and (ironically, but later on in his career) a commercial for safe driving.
He was a style icon for his laid back looks which include plain white tees, jeans and leather jackets. He was so cool about everything that this style really worked for him. It is easy enough to reinvent it and looks "dashingly handsome" if you are already "dashingly handsome" but does not do you many favours if you are not.
Vintage Eye Candy
|All images from weheartit|
By the way, James Dean is the one who puts the money in the jukebox piano thing.