"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 Rebel Without a Cause
, East of Eden
, and 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 1950s
and nowadays for his being (reportedly) bisexual
. His relatively short career and enduring popularity also makes him something of a real-life Ensemble Darkhorse
His roles were usually Troubled, but Cute
guys with Freudian Excuses
James Dean is commonly associated with the following tropes:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys
- Ambiguous Disorder: He was known for his extreme mood swings and may have suffered from undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder.
- Author Existence Failure: Not all of his work on Giant had been completed prior to his death.
- Badass Biker
- Bi the Way: When 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.
- Cool Loser: One of the archetypes with which he is most associated.
- Dawson Casting: 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.
- Iconic Outfit: His iconic Red jacket,white T-Shirt and Jeans in Rebel Without A Cause.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Elizabeth Taylor.
- Sedgwick Speech: His passenger on the fateful car trip survived, and reported that his last words were reassurance that the other driver could see them.
- Short-Lived Big Impact: 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.
- Teen Idol
- Troubled, but Cute