James Dean

American actor (1931-1955)

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American movie actor. He was best known for his part in a movie called Rebel Without a Cause. He was in two other movies East of Eden and Giant, both of which were huge successes. He got an Academy Award (Oscar) nomination after his death. He was the first person to get this nomination posthumously (after they died).

James Dean
James Dean in East of Eden trailer 2.jpg
as Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955)
James Byron Dean

(1931-02-08)February 8, 1931
DiedSeptember 30, 1955(1955-09-30) (aged 24)
Cause of deathCar crash
Other namesJimmy Dean
Years active1951–1955
Notable work
Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause

Early lifeEdit

James Dean was born in 1931 in Marion, Indiana, United States. His parents were called Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson. Six years later, the family moved to California, and James went to school in Los Angeles. He was very close to his mother.[1] She died of cancer when he was nine, and James went to live with his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. In high school, he became interested in drama and car racing. After he graduated, he moved back to California to live with his father and stepmother. He attended Santa Monica College and UCLA,[2] but left college in 1951 to become a professional actor.

In an interview, Elizabeth Taylor told something which James Dean had said to her during their filming. After his mother’s death, when he was 11 years, he was sexually harassed by a Protestant minister. This experience tortured him during all his whole childhood.[3]


In 1955, Dean was killed in a car crash while driving his sports car to a race. He was buried in Fairmount, Indiana.


  1. Michael DeAngelis, Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves (Duke University Press, 2001), p. 97.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2009-12-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Elizabeth Taylor Interview About Her AIDS Advocacy von Kevin Sessums in "The Daily Beast"

Other websitesEdit