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James Dean's Death

James Dean

James Dean started life as an Indiana farm boy, and ended up in Hollywood as one of the biggest, "bad boy" stars of the 1950's. Like Marlon Brando, Dean's persona epitomized the rebellious mood sweeping post-war America in the 1950's.

He only starred in three major movies, Rebel Without A Cause, East of Eden and Giant, but all of the roles added to his legend, and he soon because a movie and pop icon, as his life was tragically cut short in a car accident.

Here he is in the Porsche 500 Spyder that he nicknamed "Little Bastard".

James Dean's Porsche

That little bastard drove him to his death.

Ironically, only thirteen days before the crash, Dean filmed this public service announcement about safe driving with fellow actor Gig Young.

On the afternoon of September 30, 1955, Dean got a speeding ticket on California's Golden State Freeway, known today as Interstate 5. At about 5:45, a car driving at a high rate of speed by a 23 year old, made a left turn in front of Dean, who was travelling at an estimated speed of 85 miles an hour. He tried to avoid the crash – but they hit head-on.

James Dean's Car Accident

Dean suffered a broken neck and several internal and external injuries and was pronounced dead about half an hour later. He was buried in Fairmount, Indiana less than a mile from where he grew up on his aunt and uncle's farm.

Now a genuine Hollywood legend, James Dean won the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history in 1955.

And at the 1956 Academy Awards, Dean received his second posthumous Best Actor nomination for his role in Giant.

Now a genuine Hollywood legend, Dean is considered an icon because of his "experimental" take on life. There are several claims that Dean had sexual relationships with both men and women.