Thursday, Nov. 06, 2008

James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause

Dean owned 1955 and 1956 at the box office — even if he never lived to see it. Days after he finished shooting his role as young oilman upstart Jett Rink in Giant, Dean was driving his silver Porsche Spyder to an auto race when he collided head-on with another motorist. It was Sept. 30, 1955 and Dean was 24. Weeks later, Rebel Without a Cause opened, and Dean's raging, wounded performance won teens over — and his death only made their love for him more profound. The following year, the Academy nominated Dean for his role in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden. The year after that, he would be nominated again, for the performance in Giant that would be his last. He remains the only actor twice posthumously nominated for an Oscar.