Tuesday, September 28, 2010

James Dean from the movie Giant
We just returned from the James Dean Festival in the actor's hometown of Fairmount, Indiana (see video link below).

It was a great trip, especially since I'm a long-time James Dean fan.  I've always had a photo or two of him displayed somewhere on my desk or at home (there's one in our bathroom -- how's that for devotion??).

Dean was cool personified.  He had a hard life (losing his mother at age 14 and being raised by an aunt and uncle).  But, all that grief and angst didn't stop him from leaving a small Midwestern town and eventually conquering Hollywood.

James Dean died at age 24 in a car accident in California.  He lived life in the fast lane right up to his last breath.

Driving through Fairmount, where he was raised, it's easy to imagine him strolling the narrow sidewalks on Washington Street, studying drama at the local high school and dreaming big.  What was it that propelled Dean to leave this tiny Indiana town and head to New York?  What gave him the confidence to think he could compete for parts with New York actors?  Make it to Broadway?  Study at the Actor's Studio?

Talent and drive.  He had both.

James Dean only made three movies:  East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant.  All classics.  He also had parts in many TV shows and commercials from the 1950s.  He died before his last movie was released.  He died young, but sure left a mark.  Fifty-five years later fans still make their way to Fairmount, Indiana to pay their respects to their favorite rebel.   

Dean would be 79 this year if he had lived.  

We miss you, Jim!  

Enjoy the video, Bloggers.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SI82NJApfw

Until next time.

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