On February 8 James Dean was born…

On February 8, 1931 pop culture icon James Dean was born. Since his death, Dean has become an icon for rebellious youth, living life without a care, as expressed in his most famous film, “Rebel Without A Cause.” The 1955 film featured Dean as a trouble teenager, further cementing his status as metaphorical figure for youth rebelliousness. 

Still of James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" Warner Brothers/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Still of James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”
Warner Brothers/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Dean, a racing enthusiast, died in a car accident near Cholame, California (located in San Luis Obispo County, California) on September 30, 1955. It was later determined that he was driving over the legal speeding limit and crashed at the junction of California State Route 46 (former 466) and California State Route 41. 

The site where James Dean crashed: the junction of highways 46 (former 466) and 41

The site where James Dean crashed: the junction of highways 46 (former 466) and 41
Via Wikipedia user Pflatau

During his career, Dean starred in only three movies featuring him as a leading actor. He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor (for 1955’s “Revel Without a Cause) and the American Film Institute ranked him as number 18 in their list, “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars.” He was 24 at the time of his death.

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