James Byron Dean was an American actor, born on February 8, 1931. He starred in the film Rebel Without a Cause (1955), as unhappy teenager Jim Stark, and is recognized as a cultural figure of youthful disillusionment and social estrangement. Cal Trask, a loner in East of Eden (1955), and surly ranch worker Jett Rink, in Giant, were the other two roles that marked his stardom (1956).
Dean became the first actor to get a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor after his death in a car accident on September 30, 1955, and he is the only actor to have received two posthumous acting nominations. In AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list from 1999, he was listed as the 18th best male cinema star of Golden Age Hollywood.
James Byron Dean, the only child of Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton Dean in the Seven Gables apartment on the corner of 4th Street and McClure Street in Marion, Indiana. He also claimed that his mother was half-Native American and that his father was a descendant of a ‘line of early settlers that could be traced back to the Mayflower.’ Dean and his family moved to Santa Monica, California, six years after his father quit farming to pursue a career as a dental technician.
Dean made his debut appearance on television in a Pepsi Cola advertisement. He dropped out of college to pursue acting full-time, and his first speaking role was as John the Beloved Disciple in Hill Number One, an Easter television spectacular dramatizing Jesus’ Resurrection. On September 30, 1955, in Cholame, California, 24-year-old actor James Dean met with an accident when his Porsche collides with a Ford Tudor sedan at an intersection.
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