James Dean is the legendary hero with a legendary story; live fast and die young. For over half a century, he has captured the world with his casual style, unflinching look and rebel attitude. James Dean has defined the essence of cool and without-a-cause for generations. His star continues to shine brighter and brighter.
Never has there ever been, never will there ever be. The one, the only, James Dean.
" All of us were touched by Jimmy, and he was touched by greatness."
-- Natalie Wood
"He was very afraid of being hurt. He was afraid of opening up in case it was turned around and used against him."
-- Elizabeth Taylor
"[Dean's] death caused a loss in the movie world that our industry could ill afford. Had he lived long enough, I feel he would have made some incredible films. He had sensitivity and a capacity to express emotion."
-- Gary Cooper
"I didn't know what to do. How do you tell an eight-year-old boy his mother's going to die? I tried. In my own stumbling way I tried to prepare Jim for it. Nowadays, he lives in a world we don't understand too well, the actor's world. We don't see too much of him. But he's a good boy, my Jim. A good boy, and I"m very proud of him. Not easy to understand, no sir. He's not easy to understand. But he's all man, and he'll make his mark. Mind you, my boy will make his mark."
-- Winton Dean in Modern Screen, August 1955
"He could look in a delicatessen window and suddenly start waving at a bowl of prunes, like they were alive. He was childish in a charming way."
-- Christine White
"He had the greatest power of concentration I have ever encountered. He prepared himself so well in advance for any scene he was playing, that the lines were not simply something he had memorized -- they were actually a very real part of him."
-- Jim Backus
"Jim Dean and Elvis were the spokesmen for an entire generation. When I was in acting school in New York, years ago, there was a saying that if Marlon Brando changed the way people acted, then James Dean changed the way people lived. He was the greatest actor who ever lived. He was simply a genius."
-- Martin Sheen
"He would be bothered when someone would say he was mean and disrespectful. Because actually, he wasn't. They took silence to mean he cared little or nothing for them.
They didn't have the insight, or didn't care to exercise the insight, in knowing that he was a shy boy that just didn't know how to approach them. Instead of making an attempt to approach him, they just, well, they just wrote him off."
-- Lew Bracker
"He didn't show you very much. He'd challenge you to find him. Then when you'd found him, he'd still make you guess.
It was an endless game with him. The thing people missed about Jimmy was his mischievousness. He was the most constantly mischievous person I think I've ever met. Full of tricks, full of magic, full of outrageousness."
-- Stuart Stern
"Every time I go to Europe, I remember that James Dean never saw Europe, but yet I see his face everywhere. There's James Dean, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe - windows of the Champs Elysees, discos in the south of Spain, restaurants in Sweden, t-shirts in Moscow. My life was confused and disoriented for years by his passing. My sense of destiny destroyed - the great films he would have directed, the great performances he would have given, the great humanitarian he would have become, and yet, he's the greatest actor and star I have ever known."
-- Dennis Hopper
"I'm obsessed. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I'm hoping to keep his memory going. It's a tribute."
-- David Loehr
(Dean Archivist, The James Dean Gallery, Fairmount, Indiana)
"When I worked with him on TV, I found him to be an intelligent young actor who seemed to live only for his work.
He was completely dedicated, and although a shy person, he could hold a good conversation on many wide-ranging subjects."
-- Ronald Reagan
A few weeks before the group recorded its first hit record, "LOVE ME DO," in 1962, fifth member Stuart Sutcliffe died at the age of 21. Years later, John Lennon is quoted as saying: "[Stuart Sutcliffe] was really our leader, and he was really into the James Dean thing. He idolized him. Stuart died young before we made the big time, but I suppose you could say that without Jimmy Dean, The Beatles would have never existed."
"When he was interested and participating, his energy was powerful. He had the greatest of intellectual qualities - curiosity about everything."
-- Roy Schatt
"He said, "We both have to get married and have families. That's what we both want; that's what we both need. He never talked to me like a man that was worried about cutting it [life] short or having it cut short."
-- Lew Bracker