Dean, James

30 Septembre 1955
Avis de décès (Dean, James)


James Dean would make only three films in his brief Hollywood career..."East of Eden" "Rebel Without a Cause," and "Giant." Only the first was released before his death but his noted performance netted him a posthumous nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. The other two were released after his death while again receiving posthumous nominations in each. Two more movies were pending, for M.G.M. "Somebody Up There Likes Me" and for Warner Bros, "The Left Handed Gun" which was also part of a signed 9-picture contract with that studio worth $1 million. One can only imagine the heights of a career that awaited him had not fate intervened in the form of his tragic death. He was born in Marion, Indiana to Winton and Mildred Wilson Dean and was still an infant when his parents moved to the tiny village of nearby Fairmount. The family again moved, this time to Santa Monica, California when he was five after his father gave up farming. He attended Brentwood Elementary School until his mother died of cancer when he was nine and James was returned to Fairmount to live with his aunt Ortense and uncle Marcus Winslow on their farm. Dean attended Fairmount High School where he was a member of the basketball team, the debate team and acted in various school plays peeking his interest toward a stage career. After graduating, Dean returned to live with his father and a new stepmother. He enrolled in Santa Monica College then transferred to UCLA with a major in drama but quit eager to pursue a movie career. While at the University, he was cast in the key role of Malcolm in "Macbeth." Roles were scare and worked odd jobs to support himself. After advise from a friend, he moved to New York City to pursue roles in live stage performances. He honed his skills while studying under Lee Strasberg in his famous Actors Studio school. Roles came his way..."Kraft Television Theater" "Studio One" "Lux Video Theatre" and a defining part in "The Immoralist" which had Hollywood calling. Director Elia Kazan signed him for the role of "Cal" in "East of Eden." During a break in filming, James Dean was in the process of driving his new Porsche 550 Spyder to a race in northern California. While on Route 466 near Cholame, California, an automobile driven from the opposite direction attempted a turn, crossing into Dean's lane resulting in a head-on collision. The mortally injured Dean was taken to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, gone at the age of 24. Legacy...James Dean's tragic death at a very young age and his extravaganza funeral at Fairmount Friends Church in Fairmount, Indiana, with thousands of milling curious mourners, generated enormous publicity. He was transformed into a cult figure with timeless fascination by people around the world. Fairmount Historical Society remembers Dean with a nice collection at its Fairmount Historical Museum located at 203 E Washington Street. It is located in a landmark structure with National Register of Historic Places and Sites recognition. Each year the village stages a James Dean Festival which is a four day long remembrance. Fairmount High School, constructed in 1898, abandoned and boarded up for the last twenty years will come to life as the James Dean Performing Arts Center and Museum. The Fairmount Foundation will oversee the restoration of the structure with special emphasis on the original stage, auditorium and classrooms. Its collection of James Dean memorabilia will be moved and displayed. It was here that Dean acted in school plays, was a member of the basketball team and graduated with honors. Cholame, California, has a Dean memorial. It is a concrete and stainless steel sculpture made in Japan which surrounds a tree of heaven and located in front of the post office which is near the crash site. In September 2005, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his death, the California Highway Department named the 46-41 Highway Junction at Cholame "The James Dean Memorial Junction." The US Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp on 24 June, 1996 in the Legends of Hollywood series. An excellent low budget movie made for television "James Dean" starring James Franco, Michael Moriarty directed by Mark Rydell was made in 2001. Many books have been written about James Dean. A few of the better..."James Dean: A Biography" by John Howlett, James Dean: Fifty Years Ago" by Dennis Stock and "James Dean: A Tribute to a Rebel" by Val Holley. In a bit of trivia...his headstone is a soap opera with a life of its own. It is constantly being chipped away by souvenir hunters and many times it has been stolen intact, found and returned.

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