James Dean

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/wiki/James Deancreator
Dean as 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 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.

A symbol of cool for teenagers of the 1950s and nowadays for his being (reportedly) bisexual. Well and truly Too Cool to Live. 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 provides examples of the following tropes:
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys
  • 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."
  • 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 23 at the time.Made more obvious by the fact that Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood were the right age
  • Memetic Outfit: His iconic Red jacket,white T-Shirt and Jeans in Rebel Without A Cause
  • 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