He never won an Academy Award. He only starred in three major motion pictures. Yet his name is synonymous with Hollywood and Cinema. James Dean bolted on the screen. His raw edge and quiet demeanour only mystified his fans and movie goers. He starred with some of the greatest names in Hollywood, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson, Mercedes McCambridge, Ann Doran, Raymond Massey, and Jo Van Fleet. He also starred with actors who themselves would become stars in their own right, such as Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Julie Harris, Carroll Baker, and Earl Holliman. Yet, James Dean is probably more recognized than any of those names.
His onscreen presence was powerful, and his abilities were unfortunately never fully realized. Off screen his life was also powerful, and full of energy with an air of mystery. Raised by an uncle and aunt after his mother’s death and estrangement from his father, Dean’s life was much like a Hollywood movie, or at least a made for TV movie. Many claim to have been a lover of James Dean, including both men and women. Very few really knew James Dean.
James Dean, he came in like a flight of a Phoenix and soon left leaving behind a trail that would last forever. Ironically his words seem so true for him; Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.