James Dean's Rebel Without A Cause

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James Dean’s life and death have been constantly described to have gone too fast. He quickly rose to fame after a notable performance in “East of Eden”. After a year, he made it to the news again. This time, it was on his horrible death. Let’s look back into what transpired in the two dozen years of this cultural icon known as the “Rebel Without a Cause.”

James, named as James Byron Dean, was born on February 18, 1931, in Marion, Indiana. At that time, the Depression era hit the state hard. His father, Winston Dean, decided to leave the life of farming and moved the family to Santa Monica California. There, Winston started working as a dentist. The Dean family stayed in the middle-class town for years and James attended the Brentwood Public School. However, the family encountered a new tragedy. James’ mother, Mildred, died of cancer. Winston decided to send James back to Indiana for their relatives to take care of him. The boy was nine at that time.

In his new home in a farm, James found a family not only with his uncle and aunt. He became very close to the town’s minister of the local Methodist church. Rev. James DeWeerd became the boy’s mentor. The minister also had a huge influence on James’ interest
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He had a role in the “See The Jaguar.” But it was his performance as a gay Arab houseboy in the “Immoralist” which caught the eye of Hollywood big wigs. There, director Elia Kazan saw his performance and casted him in the film adaptation of “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. James explored his way of acting which was still unfamiliar in Hollywood. Most of his scenes were unscripted and improvised. Although previous actors have already adapted this technique, James’ was the rawest and the most unpolished, making him the most exciting actor of his time. His role for “East of Eden” earned him a nomination for an Academy Award, which came after his death. This was the first time for an actor to be given a posthumous nomination for an

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