Actor: James Dean
James Dean, the rebel. Uploaded by layoutsparks.com
Three movies. That’s all it took to create one of Hollywood’s most enduring legends. Oh, he had a couple of bit parts before making it big, but we know him from three movies: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant.
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And yet those three appearances all featured Dean as the anti-hero that became hugely popular in the fifties. I mean, you could tell he was going to be trouble even by the names of his characters. Cal Trask. Jim Stark. Jett Rink. And if you could choose a name for a movie about a disaffected youth who would die in a car crash at only 24, could you come up with anything better than Rebel Without a Cause?
Dean was, however, more than a cult figure. He studied his craft under method acting guru Lee Strasberg. He received two posthumous Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. And despite his limited filmography, the American Film Institute ranked him the 18th best male movie star in its 100 Years…100 Stars list. Truly he was too fast to live, but too young to die.
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