Although his acting career was just tragically short, James Dean starred in three movies, appeared in numerous television shows and took to the stage on multiple occasions.
Even though he only starred in three films, James Dean was nominated for two Academy Awards, for his performances in "East of Eden" and "Giant." He was a widely admired screen personality, a personification of the restless American youth of the mid-50's, and an embodiment of the title of one of his film "Rebel Without A Cause."
East of Eden
Drawn from the last few pages of John Steinbeck's mammoth novel, East of Eden is powerful, intense family drama, about rivalry between two sons for the love of their father. What makes director Elia Kazan's film so remarkable is the casting of virtual unknowns in the leading roles. As Abra, the girl who comes between the brothers, Julie Harris portrays a woman torn between the two; as the stern patriarch Adam Trask, Raymond Massey couldn't be bettered. Richard Davalos, as the 'sensitive' brother Aron also gave a fine performance. 'It's the actor who plays Cal who really bears watching,' critics raved...
Rebel Without A Cause
Just under a month before Rebel Without A Cause premiered in New York, James Dean had been killed in a tragic auto accident at the age of 24. It's impossible to watch Rebel without a deep sense of regret, of loss. His performance as Jim Stark - "the bad boy from a good family" - as the ads described it - is a masterful achievement, fulfilling the promise shown in his previous film, East of Eden. Dean plays the angst-ridden son of henpecked Jim Backus (Frank Stark) and Ann Doran. He forms a substitute 'family' with girlfriend Natalie Wood (Judy) and timid Sal Mineo (Plato) after a tragic incident - an automobile test-of-nerves dare known as the "chickie run" - has brought them together. Rebel is more than a monument to its star, it's a movie for all time.
Jimmy had been signed by Warner Brothers to play the role of Jett Rink in Giant, based on Edna Ferber's best-selling Texas saga. The script described Jett Rink as 'a violent young ranch hand, half juvenile delinquent, half genius, who wants to make a million (He makes a hundred million)...Tough, always angry, restless, bewildered and reckless with animal charm and a tycoon's magnetism." The script required him to age from 19 to 46. Directed by George Stevens, the cast featured Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson as Leslie and Bick Benedict; and included Dennis Hopper and Sal Mineo, who also appeared in Rebel Without A Cause.
Fixed Bayonets 1951 Sailor Beware 1952 Has Anybody Seen My Gal? 1952
Movies Inspired by James Dean
The James Dean Story 1957 James Dean: The First American Teenager 1976 September 30, 1955 1977 Come Back to The Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 1982 James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young 1977 James Dean: Race With Destiny 1998 James Dean 2001
Although he was best known for his role in movies, James Dean also occasionally appeared on television shows such as "Studio One" and "Treasury Men in Action." Although they are not as well known as his movies, they still had an impact on his acting career and style. Hill Number One on Family Theater 1951 Sleeping Dogs on The Web 1952 Ten Thousand Horses Singing on Studio One 1952 The Foggy, Foggy Dew on Lux Video Theater 1952 Prologue To Glory on Kraft Television 1952 Abraham Lincoln on Studio One 1952 Forgotten Children on Hallmark Hall of Fame 1952 The Case of the Watchful Dog on Treasury Men in Action 1953 The Capture of Jesse James on You Are There 1953 No Room on Danger 1953 The Case of the Sawed-Off Shotgun on Treasury Men in Action 1953 Something for an Empty Briefcase on Campbell Soundstage 1953 Sentence of Death on Studio One Summer Theatre 1953 Death Is My Neighbor on Danger 1953 The Evil Within on Tales of Tomorrow 1953 The Big Story 1953 Glory in The Flower on Omnibus 1953 Keep Our Honor Bright on Kraft Television Theatre 1953 Life Sentence on Campbell Soundstage 1953 A Long Time Till Dawn on Kraft Television Theatre 1953 The Bells of Cockaigne on Armstrong Circle Theatre 1951 Harvest on Robert Montgomery Presents... The Johnson's Wax Program 1953 The Little Woman on Danger 1954 Run Like a Thief on Philco TV Playhouse 1954 Padlocks on Danger 1954 I'm a Fool on General Electric Theatre 1954 The Dark, Dark Hour on Geleral Electric Theatre 1954 The Thief on Family Theater 1951 The Unlighted Road on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1955
James Dean's career as an actor began on a stage in Fairmount, Indiana. He was still performing on stage in 1954, however this time it was on Broadway, in a show called "The Immoralist."
See The Jaguar 1952 The Immoralist 1954
The Metamorphosis 1952 The Scarecrow 1953 Women of Trachis 1954
School, Summer Stock & Church Productions
Macbeth at UCLA She Was Only a Farmer's Daughter at Santa Monica City College The Romance of Scarlet Gulch at Summer Stock To Them That Sleep in Darkness at Church An Apple from Coles County at Fairmount High School Gone With The Wind at Fairmount High School The Monkey's Paw at Fairmount High School Mooncalf Mugford at Fairmount High School Our Hearts Were Young and Gay at Fairmount High School You Can't Take It With You at Fairmount High School