[[caption-width:200:Dean as [[RebelWithoutACause Jim Stark]].]]

->''"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."''
-->-- '''James Dean'''

James Dean was an actor, born on 8 February 1931. He is best known for the movies ''Film/RebelWithoutACause'', ''Film/EastOfEden'', and ''Film/{{Giant}}''... with good reason, as these are the only three films in which he had a starring role. He was killed in a car accident on 30 September 1955 at the age of twenty-four. He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and remains the only actor to have received more than one posthumous nomination.

A symbol of cool for teenagers of the [[TheFifties 1950s]] and nowadays for his being (reportedly) [[BiTheWay bisexual]]. His relatively short career and enduring popularity also makes him something of a real-life EnsembleDarkhorse.

His roles were usually TroubledButCute guys with {{Freudian Excuse}}s.

!!James Dean is commonly associated with the following tropes:
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys
* AmbiguousDisorder: He was known for his extreme mood swings and may have suffered from undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Not all of his work on ''Giant'' had been completed prior to his death.
* BadassBiker
* BiTheWay: When [[MistakenForGay asked if he was homosexual]], he is reported to have replied, "Well, I'm certainly not going through life with one hand tied behind my back."
** In recent years, his male best friend revealed that they were sexually intimate. He is also known to have had relationships with women.
* CoolLoser: One of the archetypes with which he is most associated.
* DawsonCasting: Cast as 16 year old Jim Stark in ''Rebel Without A Cause'' despite being 23 at the time. Made more obvious by the fact that Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood were the right age.
* IconicOutfit: His iconic Red jacket,white T-Shirt and Jeans in ''Rebel Without A Cause''.
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Elizabeth Taylor.
* SedgwickSpeech: His passenger on the fateful car trip survived, and reported that his last words were reassurance that the other driver could see them.
* ShortLivedBigImpact: He starred in only three Hollywood films and died in a tragic car crash shortly after finishing the third one, but his performances in ''East of Eden'' and ''Rebel Without a Cause'' (especially the latter) pretty much defined the "misunderstood bad-boy teen" image of the era.
* TeenIdol
* TroubledButCute