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Welcome to Giant Rebel James Dean
James Dean Biography
James Byron Dean, son of a dental technician and a farmer's daughter, Winton A. and Mildred Wilson Dean, was born February 8, 1931, in the "Seven Gables" apartment house at 4th and McClure Street in Marion, Indiana.

Mr. and Mrs. Dean, with their young son, moved to Fairmount shortly after his birth. During their time in Fairmount they lived in three homes within the town's limits and in a small home located at the north edge of the Winslow farm. When Jimmy was five the family moved to California. Dean's mother died of cancer when he was nine and was buried in Grant Memorial Park, Marion. The family decided that Jimmy should live with his aunt and uncle, Marcus and Ortense Winslow and his cousin Joan on their farm north of Fairmount. At the age of 13, Jimmy's cousin Marcus Jr. was born.

He started school at Fairmount West Ward (Old Academy) and entered Fairmount High School in 1945, where he was very successful in sports, drama, art and the band. At graduation exercises in may of 1949, he received dramatic, art and athletic awards. He also placed first in the Indiana State Contest of the national Forensic League, with his presentation of "The Madman" by Dickens, and sixth in the National contest at Longmont, Colorado.

After graduation, he enrolled in Santa Monica City College, California to study pre-law. In 1950 he transferred to U.C.L.A. where he majored in drama for two years before leaving for New York. Jimmy pounded the pavement of Broadway for two years seeking a "break" on the stage. His first role was in the play See The Jaguar with Arthur Kennedy and Constance Ford. Later, as the blackmailing Arab in The Immoralist, he won the Daniel Blum Award as the most promising newcomer of 1954 and a movie contract with Elia Kazan for East of Eden. He also appeared in some of the best television programs, including Schlitze Playhouse, Studio One and Kraft Theater.
James Dean Trivia
Dated Ursula Andress when she was a starlet in Hollywood in the mid-1950s, as did his idol, Marlon Brando.

Dean's acting breakthrough came on Broadway in the drama "See the Jaguar", despite its run of less than a week (only 4 days).

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.

Elia Kazan, in his 1988 autobiography "A Life," says that during the production of "East of Eden" he had to have Dean move into a bungalow near his on the Warner Bros. lot to keep an eye on him, so wild was his nightlife.

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 Ash Tray." The sketch featured a human body, in the guise of an ash tray, 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.

He was voted the 22nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Was a graduate from Santa Monica College, a California junior college that boasts its elite drama program.

Was engaged to Liz Sheridan, who wrote a book about their love called "Dizzy and Jimmy".

Referenced by name in the John Mellencamp song "Jack and Diane."

Along with Martin Sheen and Steve McQueen, is mentioned in R.E.M.'s song "Electrolite".

James Dean Filmography
The Complete James Dean Collection (2005)
James Dean (2005)
James Dean: Forever Young (2005)
James Dean: Sense Memories (2005)
The Real James Dean: From Indiana Farmboy to Hollywood Legend (2005)
James Dean - Hill Number One/I Am A Fool (1999)
James Dean (1998)
The James Dean Story/The Bells of Cockaigne (1998)
James Dean: The James Dean Story (1998)
The James Dean 35th Anniversary Collection (1990)
One From the Heart (1982)
Giant (1956)
East of Eden (1955)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Harvest (1953)
I'm a Fool (1953)
A Long Time Till Dawn (1953)
Bells of Cockaigne, The/Broadway Trust (1952)
James Dean's Lost Television Appearance: Trouble With Father (1952)
Westinghouse Studio One - "Abraham Lincoln" (1952)
Hill Number One (1951)
James Dean: The First American Teenager

James Dean Poster Shop
James Dean Facts
Name: James Dean
Birth Name: James Byron Dean
Sex: M
Nationality: US-American
Birth Date: February 8, 1931
Birth Place: Marion, IN, USA
Death Date: September 30, 1955
Death Place: California
Interviews

Did George Stevens actively collaborate on the script?

Yes. Stevens attended every story conference. He paid more attention than any director I worked with. And most of the writing was done at George's house on Riverside Drive. We spent a lot of time making tea in the morning to avoid getting down to work. We took our time. We started the script in March 1954 and did not finish until December.

In filming Giant was Stevens faithful to your script?

Almost without exception, the script was shot as written. And that was not George Stevens's usual habit. His normal routine was to spend a lot of time changing the script--working at night after a scene was shot--and then reshooting it the next morning. After, George wrote me a short letter, saying, "Thank God we worked as thoroughly...as we did because I wouldn't have had the energy down in Marfa, Texas to go through what we normally did..."

In filming East of Eden, Elia Kazan used only the latter part of John Steinbeck's novel. How much did you rely on Edna Ferber's story line?

There are scenes that weren't in the book. For instance, the scene where Rock Hudson fights in a bar while the jukebox plays The Yellow Rose of Texas was our invention. Also, that wake scene at the ranch that gets out of hand and turns into a Texas "whoop-de-do." Edna Ferber didn't like that: She said to me, "You are a lot of necrophiliacs."

The novel wasn't very popular among Texans to begin with. One Dallas paper claimed that if the film was shown in Texas, the screen might be shot full of holes.

Ferber had been a guest of the Kleberg family at their vast spread: The King Ranch. Then, she wrote the novel which appeared critical of them. After the book came out, she tried to avoid the family. Once, she hid her face behind a menu when one of them came into a Beverly Hills restaurant.

Did Warner Bros. ask for changes to avoid controversy?


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