Things you might not know about James Dean

James Dean revolutionised the concept of ‘celebrity status’ during the brief but bright time he spent as Hollywood’s top heart throb in the 1950s. He also made jeans fashionable, possibly for the first time in history, transporting them from the world of workwear to a global symbol of rebellion and youthful cool. Be sure to get your own effortlessly cool Farah Jeans from

Here are some facts about the star that you might not know:

  1. He was raised by his aunt and uncle

Born in Indiana, he moved to California when his dental technician father got a job in Santa Monica. However, his mother died from cancer when he was 9, so he was sent back to Indiana to live on his uncle’s farm. He didn’t have much of a relationship with his father after that.

  1. His front teeth were fake

Whilst swinging on a trapeze in his aunt and uncle’s barn, he had his two front teeth knocked out. As an adult, he would regularly surprise friends by slipping out his fake teeth halfway through a conversation.

  1. Local pole vault record

Whilst being rather short and thin, Dean excelled at sport, playing both basketball and baseball. He was especially good at pole vault and set a county record on his graduation in 1949.

  1. His first professional debut was a drink commercial

Dean had enjoyed acting in some high school plays and continued his passion at UCLA in 1950, starring in Macbeth. Shortly after, a well-connected friend took him to work as an extra at a soft drink commercial for Pepsi-Cola. He made a great impression and was then invited to play a part in a TV special that was to air over Easter 1951. It was only a small part, but it was enough for his first fan club to form.

  1. He only starred in 3 films

Dean dropped out of college to focus on acting, after receiving a few bit parts in Hollywood, he moved to New York in 1951, appearing in two Broadway performances and many TV shows. His big movie break didn’t come until 1954 when he appeared in ‘The Immoralist’ and caught the eye movie director, Elia Kazan. He was cast in ‘East of Eden’ which propelled him to the dizzying heights of stardom, followed by ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, where he got top billing. He next starred in ‘Giant’ along with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. He had more in the pipeline, but his untimely death put paid to these plans.

  1. He loved race cars

A love that would cause his ultimate demise, Dean was a speed freak and used the money from ‘East of Eden’ to purchase a motorbike and red sports convertible. By 1955, he had started to compete in street racing, coming second place in Palm Springs with a white Porsche Super Speedster. During the filming for ‘Giant’, he was contractually barred from racing but as soon as filming ended, replaced his Porsche for another faster Porsche 550 Spyder.

  1. His death

He received a ticket for speeding just 2 hours before he was killed. His car collided with another, breaking his neck and causing internal injuries that meant he was dead by the time he reached a hospital. There was no evidence of speeding and the crash was deemed an accident with no criminal intent Refurbished iPhone.