Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good Bye, Jimmy Dean....

On September 30, 1955, James Byron Dean was in a car accident in the middle of nowhere and was killed.

The world kept revolving, but nearly 60 years later we still haven't forgotten.

When I lived in Indiana I made a point of visiting James Dean's hometown of Fairmount, Indiana and his grave. They call themselves the town "where cool was born."  It's a drive-by town and you can tell how Dean probably couldn't wait to get out of there. I visited a museum to Dean that was there at the time, although I think it's been moved now. A lot of the props you see in some of his more famous photos of him were preserved an old motorcycle, and the jacket from REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, and a typewriter. It was cool to see these things and know that he had actually used them.

James Dean was speeding on a California highway in a silver Porsche Spyder when he had a near head-on collision with a larger car. His car flipped over and he died before he could get to a hospital.

In a classic example of irony, one of the last appearances James Dean ever made on film was for a public service announcement to try to get people to drive more safely. You can see where it has been edited; near the end it looks like the suit Gig Young is wearing has changed. But it is still definitely James Dean. You can watch it below.

Rest in Peace, James Dean 

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