James Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in the United States, in Marion (Indiana). Sadly, his birth is frowned upon in this small, conservative town, as he was born only 6 months after his parents got married. Indeed, in a deeply Catholic America, having sex before the union of two beings is seen as a sin in the eyes of God! Despite the backbiting of his neighbors, he grew up in a loving home, and felt very close to his mother. However, he confided in an interview that he had remained misunderstood by his father, whom he found distant and cold! Driven by a passion for acting, he began his career on the boards of Broadway in the film The Immortalist where he was spotted by a director: Hollywood extended its arms to him! It is in 1955, that he will burst the screen in the films: East of Eden and The fury of living.
It is September 30 of the same year, on Route 466, California. James Dean is the rising star of Hollywood cinema, when suddenly he loses his life in a tragic car accident. But what happened? On this day, the actor goes with his mechanic, has a car race, driving his new Porsche 356 Speedster 1500 Super. On the Californian road, the actor, released from a contract which forbade him to put his life in danger to reduce the risk of accident and injury, drives more than 180 km / h. Unfortunately, at a crossroads in the town of Cholame, located in San Luis Obispo County in California, he collided with a black and white Ford Custom Tudor which had just cut off his road. The shock is violent: James Dean dies instantly from a cervical fracture. Ironically, the actor had just shot an awareness campaign on road safety! In 1955, it was the first time that an actor was nominated twice at the Oscars ceremony, posthumously.
James Dean: How did the public react to his death?
News of James Dean’s death spreads like wildfire. The world of cinema is in shock. Devastated fans. His loved ones, overwhelmed by pain and incomprehension. How could such a drama happen? The funeral of the legend takes place in Fairmont, Indiana: all the gratin of Hollywood gathered to deliver a last tribute to him, not to mention all the groupies who mourn him hot tears in the four corners of the globe. And very quickly, rumors emerge … For his fans, that the actor died so suddenly, at the age of 24. Theories are born, like the one that is then the most famous of all: the car that the young star called “Little Bastard”, was cursed.
JAMES DEAN © WARNER BROS