They fill our hearts with joy, admiration and envy. When you watch their remarkable performances you wish to yourself how they could have died. The most inspirational screen legends of our time and of the past era will remain eternal. But who stood out in those times of tallent? Well personally for me, only one name says it all.
James Dean: Personally my idol, James Dean single handedley became the archetype rebel for all time, with only 3 motion pictures and dying 2 weeks after completing his last one, he left behind the most influential legacy of any actor today. His first movie "East of Eden" directed by Elia Kazan, co starring Julie Harris and Raymond Massey. He portrayed a younger brother who strives to please his christian-tough father into loving him. The movie is emotional in times and hard hit in others, James Dean's performance was singled out as being remarkable and magazines also dubbed him "A new Legend".
But Jimmy (his nickname) was more rememberd for his 2nd movie, "Rebel Without a Cause" directed by Nicholas Ray, co starring Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. In this movie, Jimmy plays a rebelious teenager who wants his family to understand him, and strives to the end to do so, he falls in love with Judy, (Wood) Who like him also feels lost and confused in the world of adults. Voted in the top 100 movies of all time this movie even today shows the confused and lonely state of teenage youth striving for acceptance.
GIANT, my personal favourite and the final chapter in the legacy that made Jimmy, this time James Dean is not the star, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor are the main characters of the film directed by George Stevens. Jimmy is Jett Rink, a handyman at a ranch owned by Jordan Bennedict, (hudson) and his newly married wife Lesley (Taylor) Jett inherits a piece of land and on that land he strikes oil and becomes a billionair. This movie was shit in Texas and is still a much part of Texas as it was more then 50 years ago.
Jimmy was a racer, while finishing the remaining shooting of his final movie GIANT, he had purchased a PORCHE Spyder, he raced against it previously at palm springs and fell in love with it. Jack Warner under his own order strictly forbidded Jimmy for races, quoting "The studio pays people, not corpses"
It was a beautiful sunny day on September 30th, 1955, Jimmy and his new Spyder were getting ready for a race in Salinas, Jimmy and his mechanic took the car for a ride down highway ROUTE 66, to put some mileage on the car. Down the long Californian road, a Ford was going the opposite direction, the Ford without warning turned in and Jimmy trying to stear away from the car directly collided head on. Jimmys mechanic was thrown out of the car suffering a broken jaw and fractured ribs, the 21 year old college student driving the ford suffered minor head injuries and a collapsed lung. 24 year old James Dean, was pinned to the car with a broken neck and a massive hemerage. He died instantly.
No matter if 100 or 1000 years go by, the works and tallent of this young man from Indiana will always be remembered, inspired, and loved. Forever RIP Jimmy Dean.