James Byron Dean (1931 - 1955)

A photo of James Byron Dean
James Byron Dean
1931 - 1955
updated August 09, 2019
James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931 at Marion, Grant, Indiana, USA. He died on September 30, 1955 at Cholame, San Luis Obispo, California, USA at age 24.

James Dean used to hang out at the home of my friend Shirley Osborn Ayers.
The portrait is by Arthur K. Miller.
He was the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination posthumously, for his role in East of Eden (1955). However, he did not win.
He was the grandson of Charles Dean and Emma Dean.
He was the nephew of Ortense Winslow (sister of his father) and Marcus Winslow.
He was the cousin of Marcus Winslow Jr..
He is the only actor in history to receive more than one Oscar nomination posthumously.
He was pictured on a 32¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, originally issued on Monday, June 24, 1996.
He pledged Sigma Nu fraternity but dropped out of college before being initiated.
As promotion for Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Dean filmed an interview with actor Gig Young for the "Behind the Camera" segment of the ABC series "Warner Bros. Presents" in July 1955. Dean told Young, "I used to fly around quite a bit, you know, I took a lot of unnecessary chances on the highway.... Now when I drive on the highway, I'm extra cautious." When asked if he had advice for young drivers, Dean concluded the interview, "Take it easy driving. The life you might save might be mine." Dean died soon afterward and the interview was never aired.
Donald Turnupseed, the driver of the other car involved in Dean's accident, died of cancer in 1995. Turnupseed could not swerve out of the way of Dean's Porsche Spyder, but he successfully swerved journalists who frequently pestered him for interviews about the accident.
He is one of several famous and tragic figures from history to be featured on the sleeve artwork of the album "Clutching at Straws" by rock band Marillion (released in 1987).
East of Eden (1955) was the only one of the three movies in which he had major roles to be released while he was alive.
He is one of only five male actors to be posthumously nominated for an Academy Award as best actor in a leading role. The others were Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch, Massimo Troisi and Heath Ledger.
Contrary to popular belief, Dean's middle name was not taken from Lord Byron, but from a relative, "Byron" Dean.
During the filming of Giant (1956), he and Rock Hudson did not get along. This tension heightened their onscreen clashes. However, according to Hudson's ex-wife Phyllis Gates, he cried after hearing the news of Dean's untimely death. Gates wrote, "Rock couldn't be reached. He was overcome by guilt and shame, almost as though he himself had killed James Dean.".
At the time of his untimely death, James Dean did not leave behind a will, so most of his possessions went to his father, Winton Dean, whose relationship with him was distant at best.
In her book "Dizzy and Jimmy", Liz Sheridan claims she and Dean were engaged.
Dean's acting breakthrough came on Broadway in the drama "See the Jaguar", despite its run of only four days.
He was voted the 22nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
He attended and graduated from Santa Monica College, a California junior college that boasts its elite drama program. Went on to UCLA but left after appearing in one stage production, as Malcolm in "Macbeth", as he was anxious to get his acting career started.
According to "The Mutant King", David Dalton's 1974 biography of James Dean, the rumor that Dean was a masochist who liked to have cigarettes stubbed out on his naked body can be traced to a pencil sketch of his called "The Human Ashtray". The sketch featured a human body, in the guise of an ashtray, with many cigarette stubs in it. Dalton speculates that the sketch has nothing to do with Dean's sexual proclivities but much to do with the fact that he was a heavy smoker.
Marlon Brando, in his 1994 autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me", says that Dean, who idolized him, based his acting on him and his lifestyle on what he thought Brando's lifestyle was.
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James Byron Dean Biography

With today's technology we are able to write and share our own history which lasts forever online. Our ancestors never had a chance to document their lives. This biography is dedicated to memorialize the life of James Dean, honor his ancestry & genealogy, and his immediate Dean family.

Most Commonly Known Name

James Byron Dean

First name

James

Middle name

Byron

Last Name(s)

Nickname(s) or aliases

Gender

Male

Birth

James Dean was born on at Marion, Grant, Indiana, USA,

Death

James Dean died on at Cholame, San Luis Obispo, California, USA,

Cause of death

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Obituary

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Nationality & Locations Lived

Unknown.

Religion

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Last Known Residence

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Education

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Professions

He had major roles in only three movies. In the Elia Kazan production of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1955) he played Cal Trask, the bad brother who could not force affection from his stiff-necked father. His true starring role, the one which fixed his image forever in American culture, was that of the brooding red-jacketed teenager Jim Stark in Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause (1955). George Stevens' filming of Edna Ferber's Giant (1956), in which he played the non-conforming cowhand Jett Rink who strikes it rich when he discovers oil, was just coming to a close when Dean, driving his Porsche Spyder race car, collided with another car while on the road near Cholame, California on September 30, 1955. He had received a speeding ticket just two hours before. At age 24, James Dean was killed almost immediately from the impact from a broken neck. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicized funeral transformed him into a cult object of apparently timeless fascination.

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James Dean Obituary

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James Dean
Born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, USA
Died September 30, 1955 in Cholame, California, USA (road accident)
Birth Name James Byron Dean
Nicknames Jimmy Dean
"One-Speed Dean"
JD
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)
Mini Bio (1)
James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to New York to pursue his dream of acting. He received rave reviews for his work as the blackmailing Arab boy in the New York production of Gide's "The Immoralist", good enough to earn him a trip to Hollywood. His early film efforts were strictly small roles: a sailor in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis overly frantic musical comedy Sailor Beware (1952); a GI in Samuel Fuller's moody study of a platoon in the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets! (1951) and a youth in the Piper Laurie-Rock Hudson comedy Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952).
Frequently played angry youths
Squinty, sleepy blue eyes
Light brown hair greased back
Impulsive emotional acting style
Known for playing well-meaning but deeply troubled characters
The red jacket, white T-shirt and blue jeans from Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Trivia (115)
He was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#42) (1995).
In October 1997, he was ranked #33 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
The famous Failure Analysis Associates, from Menlo Park, California, reconstructed and recreated all details of the accident at the same approximate time on September 30 and have concluded that James Dean was travelling 55 to 56 mph when the fateful accident occurred, thereby proving he had not been speeding, as rumor had it.
Most of his so-called affairs with various starlets were made up by the Warner Brothers public relations. He did have love affairs with Pier Angeli and Liz Sheridan.
He also worked as a "stunt tester" on the game show Beat the Clock (1950), testing the safety of the stunts that some of the studio audience members would later perform. However, he proved so agile at completing the stunts that his results could not be used to set time limits for contestants to complete them. So he was reluctantly released.
Following his untimely death, he was interred at Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana, which is nearly 2,300 miles from where he perished in his fatal car crash on the intersection leading to Cholame, California.
Reportedly, Dean was very much in love with Pier Angeli and they planned to marry, but her mother blocked the union because Dean was not Catholic and she helped arrange Pier's marriage to Vic Damone. Before she committed suicide, Pier wrote that Dean was the only man she had ever really loved.
He briefly studied dance with Katherine Dunham.
He won the Bloom Award as "Best Newcomer" for early Broadway work in "The Immoralist".
He was issued a speeding ticket only two hours and fifteen minutes before his fatal accident.
He is the subject of the songs "James Dean" by Eagles and "Mr. James Dean" by Hilary Duff. He is mentioned in the lyrics of many other songs, including "Rock On" by David Essex, "Electrolite" by R.E.M., "Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp, "Vogue" by Madonna, "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel, "Forever" by Skid Row, "American Pie" by Don McLean, "Speechless" by Lady Gaga, "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed, "Rather Die Young" by Beyoncé, "Choke On This" by Senses Fail, "Blue Jeans" by Lana Del Rey, "Style" by Taylor Swift and "Ghost Town" by Adam Lambert.

Other Records of James Byron Dean

1931 - 1955 World Events

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In 1931, in the year that James Byron Dean was born, on May 1st, the Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 1,454 feet (including the roof and antenna), it was the tallest building in the world until the World Trade Center's North Tower was built in 1970. (It is now the 34th tallest.) Opening at the beginning of the Great Depression, most of the offices in the Empire State Building remained unoccupied for years and the observation deck was an equal source of revenue and kept the building profitable.

In 1940, when he was only 9 years old, in July, Billboard published its first Music Popularity Chart. Top recordings of the year were Tommy Dorsey's "I'll Never Smile Again" (vocal Frank Sinatra) - 12 weeks at the top, Bing Crosby's "Only Forever" - 9 weeks at the top, and Artie Shaw's "Frenesi" - 12 weeks at the top.

In 1947, James was 16 years old when in June, the Marshall Plan was proposed to help European nations recover economically from World War II. It passed the conservative Republican Congress in March of 1948. After World War I, the economic devastation of Germany caused by burdensome reparations payments led to the rise of Hitler. The Allies didn't want this to happen again and the Marshall Plan was devised to make sure that those conditions didn't arise again.

In 1955, in the year of James Byron Dean's passing, on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

Other Biographies

Other James Deans

James Robert Dean
Died: May 31, 1916
James Patrick Dean
around 1923 - Mar 19, 1944
James Meech Dean
around 1898 - Jul 15, 1917
James Leonard Dean
Died: Aug 11, 1942
James Law Dean
around 1918 - Nov 1, 1944
James Gordon Dean
around 1919 - Apr 21, 1943
James Frederick Dean
around 1893 - Jul 10, 1941
James Fraser Dean
around 1915 - Sep 20, 1944
James Edwin Dean
around 1911 - Mar 19, 1944
James Douglas Ernest Dean
around 1924 - Dec 16, 1945
James Arthur Dean
Died: Nov 3, 1916
James Arthur Dean
around 1888 - Apr 5, 1918
James Allan Dean
around 1891 - Jul 9, 1917
James Albert Dean
around 1914 - Dec 30, 1944
James Dean
around 1898 - Nov 14, 1917
James Dean
around 1895 - Sep 25, 1941
James Dean
around 1885 - Feb 19, 1940
James Dean
around 1892 - Mar 20, 1944
James Dean
Died: Aug 22, 1942

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Andres Rennit
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Georg Kingisepp, M.d.
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