James Byron Dean

James Byron Dean

date of birth : 08/02/1931 | date of death : 30/09/1955
Born on February 8, 1931, USA, Actor, He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only person to have two posthumous acting nominations.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

James Dean was born on February 8, 1931, in Marion, Indiana, USA.

Father’s name: Winton Dean
Mother’s name: Mildred Wilson Dean
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse: -
Children: -

Reputation, fame, nickname:

Jimmy Dean

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Bisexual

Life events:

James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931, in Marion, Indiana; James Byron Dean was the only child of Winton and Mildred (Wilson) Dean. Winton, a farmer-turned-dental-technician, moved his family to Santa Monica, California. When Dean was six years old, receiving a lot of attention from both parents, he was particularly close to his mother. James Byron, as she called him, entered first grade in 1937 at the Brentwood Public School. He took violin lessons, playing well for a young child although his school friends taunted him about this activity. In July 1940 his mother died of cancer. His father sent him, then nine, back to Indiana to live with Marcus and Ortense Winslow, his sister and brother-in-law. In Fair-mount Dean grew up in the rural Quaker home, helping with farm chores and enjoying a reasonably carefree existence. Underneath, however, he harbored great pain. "My mother died on me when I was nine years old. What does she expect me to do? Do it all alone?" Dean was later to say. Still, he got along well, riding his motorcycle with friends and playing guard on the high school basketball team. He excelled at debate and drama, coached and trained by teacher Adeline Nall. He won several state titles for his abilities, and on April 14, 1949, the Fairmount News read, "James Dean First Place Winner in Dramatic Speaking." After graduating in 1949 he left for Los Angeles, where he lived briefly with his father and stepmother and entered Santa Monica City College, majoring in pre-law. But it was drama in which he shone: he received Cs and Ds in law classes, as and Bs in acting. He transferred the following year to the University of California, Los Angeles, pledging Sigma Nu fraternity. Befriended by actor James Whitmore, Dean obtained a small part in a television drama, Hill Number One. Soon Dean quit school, living precariously as a parking lot attendant and chasing auditions wherever they were available. In 1951, after landing only bit parts and a small role in Fixed Bayonets, a war picture, he left Hollywood for New York. There, in 1953, he landed a spot in the Actors Studio run by Lee Strasberg. He obtained a small part in See the Jaguar which opened at the Cort Theatre on Broadway on December 3, 1952. After this his career took off. He did television plays and several more Broadway productions and developed a reputation as "difficult." Despite this he won the Daniel Blum Theatre World Award for "best newcomer" of the year for his role in The Immoralist. In March 1954 Elia Kazan, who knew Dean from Actors Studio days, offered him a Warner Brothers contract. The film was East of Eden. The film's New York preview was March 10, 1955, but Dean declined to attend. "I can't handle it," he said, and flew back to Los Angeles. Dean finished filming Rebel without a Cause (with Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood) in June 1955 and began work onGiant. He co-starred in this with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. Completing Giant in September of that year, Dean was to start rehearsing for The Corn Is Green, a play for the National Broadcasting Company. But Dean had a few days free time in which he decided to do some car racing. Intrigued with fast automobiles, Dean had bought a $6,900 Porsche Spyder which he planned to race at Salinas, California, in September. On September 30th, he and his mechanic, Rolf Wuetherich, were involved in a head-on collision at Paso Robles, California. The Porsche was crumpled, Rolf suffered a smashed jaw and leg fracture. James Dean, dead at the age of 24, was buried in Fairmount, Indiana, on October 8, 1955. Three thousand people attended his funeral.


High School: Fairmount High School, Fairmount, IN (1949)
University: Santa Monica College (attended 1950)
University: University of California at Los Angeles (attended)

Occupation and Career:

James Byron Dean was an Actor. After appearing in just one stage production, as Malcolm in Macbeth, Dean dropped out of UCLA. His first television appearance was in a Pepsi Cola commercial, and his first speaking part was in Sailor Beware, a comedy starring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. To make ends meet, Dean worked as a parking-lot attendant at CBS Studios, where he met Rogers Brackett, a radio director who became his mentor. In 1951, Dean moved to New York City and was admitted to the Actors Studio to study under Lee Strasberg. His career began to pick up, and he performed in such 1950s television shows as Kraft Television Theatre and Omnibus. In 1954, Dean's success in a theatrical role as an Arab boy in The Immoralist led to interest from Hollywood. Over the next 18 months, Dean starred in three major motion pictures, beginning with the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel, East of Eden. Director Elia Kazan chose Dean after Dean met with Steinbeck, who thought him perfect for the part. Many of Dean's scenes in the film were unscripted improvisations. He would eventually be nominated for an Oscar for this role, making him the first actor in history to receive a posthumous Oscar nomination. In his next film, Dean starred as the agonized teenager Jim Stark in Rebel without a Cause, a role that would define his image in American culture. Dean then landed a supporting role to Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson in Giant, playing an older, oil-rich Texan.Giant was Dean's last film. It was released after his death in 1956. Dean received an Oscar nomination for this role, making him the only actor in history to receive more than one Oscar nomination posthumously.

Awards /Honors:

He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only person to have two posthumous acting nominations. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Dean the 18th best male movie star on their AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list. For the 1956 Academy Awards, Dean received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in Giant.
James Dean was nominated for two Academy Awards, for his performances in "East of Eden" and "Giant."
In February 1956 he was nominated for a Best Performance Oscar for his role in East of Eden. He also received numerous foreign awards, including the French Crystal Star award and the Japanese Million Pearl award.
He won Henrietta Award in 1957
He won Special Achievement Award in 1956
He wonJussi Award in 1956 for: East of Eden (1955).
He won Star on the Walk of Fame in 1960
He was two times nominated for the BAFTA Film Award



  • 1951 Fixed Bayonets!
  • 1952 Sailor Beware
  • 1952 Has Anybody Seen My Gal?
  • 1953 Trouble Along the Way
  • 1955 East of Eden
  • 1955 Rebel Without a Cause
  • 1956 Giant


  • 1951 Family Theater
  • 1951 The Bigelow Theatre
  • 1951 The Stu Erwin Show
  • 1952 CBS Television Workshop
  • 1952 Hallmark Hall of Fame
  • 1952 The Web
  • 1952-1953 Kraft Television Theatre
  • 1952-1955 Lux Video Theatre
  • 1953 The Kate Smith Hour
  • 1953 You Are There
  • 1953 Treasury Men in Action
  • 1953 Tales of Tomorrow
  • 1953 Westinghouse Studio One
  • 1953 The Big Story
  • 1953 Omnibus
  • 1953 Campbell Summer Soundstage
  • 1953 Armstrong Circle Theatre
  • 1953 Robert Montgomery Presents
  • 1953-1954 Danger
  • 1954 The Philco Television Playhouse
  • 1954 GE True
  • 1955 The United States Steel Hour
  • 1955 Schlitz Playhouse
  • 1955 Crossroads

Hobbies and personal interests:

Swimming, ice-skating and was interested in cars.

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

James Byron Dean died of a car accident in Cholame, California, U.S. on September 30, 1955. He was buried in Park Cemetery, Fairmount, Indiana, USA

Quotes and Memoirs:

  • Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
  • Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated.
  • Being a good actor isn't easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I'm done.
  • When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn't acting. It's following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that.
  • To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication.
  • Only the gentle are ever really strong.
  • Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me.
  • I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.
  • The only greatness for man is immortality.
  • I think the one thing this picture shows that's new is the psychological disproportion of the kids' demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too.
  • If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he's dead, then maybe he was a great man.
  • I want to be a Texan 24 hours a day.
  • Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have.
  • To me, acting is the most logical way for people's neuroses to manifest themselves, in this great need we all have to express ourselves.
  • To my way of thinking, an actor's course is set even before he's out of the cradle.
  • The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.
  • An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet.
  • There is no way to be truly great in this world. We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning.
  • But you can't show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You've got to show what it's really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds.