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In sixteen months of acting, he left a more lasting impression on the public than many stars do in thirty years. - Henry Ginsberg

His film career was one of the most brilliant and one of the most spectacularly brief in history. He was more like a comet than a star. - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

To me, the only success, the only greatness for a man is immortality. To have your work remembered in history, to leave something in this world that will last for centuries… that’s greatness. - James Dean (Feb. 8, 1931 - Sept. 30, 1955)

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James Dean and Ursula Andress attend the Thalian Ball on August 29 1955 at Ciro’s nightclub in Los Angeles, California.

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James Dean and Ursula Andress attend the Thalian Ball on August 29 1955 at Ciro’s nightclub in Los Angeles, California.

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"You’re tearing me apart!"

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I woke up this morning, you know…and the sun was shining and it was nice, and all that type of stuff. And the first thing, I saw you, and I said, “Boy, this will be one terrific day, so you better live it up…because tomorrow you’ll be nothing.” 

-Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 

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"Why the hell must I change? No bastard’s telling me what to do." -James Dean

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James Dean and Dennis Hopper had first met during the making of Rebel Without a Cause. “What we had really was a student-teacher relationship, the only one he ever had, as far as I know. When we were making Rebel I just grabbed him one day and said, ‘Look man, I gotta know how you act, because you’re the greatest!’ “ 

- Dennis Hopper on James Dean

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From my rotting body,
flowers shall grow
and I am in them
and that is eternity.
-Edvard Munch

-Actors and actresses who passed away at a young age (45 and younger)

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James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor photographed by Richard Miller, 1955.

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People had told me he was moody and hard to get along with, that he clammed up and wouldn’t talk. That’s a lot of nonsense. He could talk your arm off. But Jimmy never chattered. He was a very entertaining fellow because he was so interested in everything. He could talk about cattle, horses and rodeoing, and about music, poetry and literature. He read everything from Pancho Villa to comic books. He liked all kinds of music, from classical pieces to sambas. He had a terrific hi-fi set and a huge collection of recordings of African music. His pet subject, though, was sports cars. - Bob Hinkle

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When director Gary Legon found this screen test of James Dean and Joanne Woodward (for East of Eden), he knew he wanted to use it in his documentary, The Real James Dean. However he felt the need to ask Woodward’s permission first, since is was a rather “sexy scene” and she was, of course, married to Paul Newman, and they had children and such… Legon wasn’t sure if maybe this screen test would be embarrassing for her.  So he wrote to Woodward about it, and she quickly wrote back, “Of course you can use this! This will be proof, finally, to my daughters, that I indeed had this incredible kiss with the late, great, James Dean!”

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“Elizabeth went off mysteriously with Jimmy each evening, and none of us could figure out where they went. They would arrive for dinner together. She would sit in the balcony next to him during rushes and then they would slip away for what seemed like most of the night.”

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For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by thick eyebrows. They add character and warmth to a face.  To ever-so-slightly paraphrase Jack Black, “you must never underestimate the power of the eyebrows.”

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Once I remarked to him, “You never talk about anyone.” His reply was startling: “The unspoken word we control. Once spoken, it controls us.” Such a profound statement impressed me. - Don Martin