Fifty Years of James Dean

September 30, 2005

Fifty years ago today James Dean wound up his Porsche Spyder at his Hollywood home and headed for the high desert—and the history books (and trashier celebrity tomes like Hollywood Babylon). While his three movies (Giant, East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause—the first two won him Oscar nominations) cast a remarkably long shadow over careers from Elvis to Matt Dillon, it’s his fatal attraction to the automobile that fused his image onto the American cyclorama. You may already know the details of how and where he died – but there’s a wealth of biographical and personal stories at the official Web site for his estate. You can see an hour-long Webcast about Dean today on, or click around the Racing section for more on his cars and motorcycles.

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