Some fans of classic Hollywood may have an above-all favorite legendary, iconic star from the long-ago era of the silver screen.  I have a number of favorites from before my time as well; my favorite is James Dean for many reasons.

James Dean Book

When I was in high school, I was aware of James Dean from seeing different images of him in pop culture items.  What I knew of him back then was that he was a 50s actor who had died young and tragically.  Although I didn’t know much else about him, I was definitely drawn to those cool images in which he was represented.  If I saw a poster featuring a group of old Hollywood icons, including Dean, he was always the one that stood out to me the most.  Of the movies he starred in, I had only seen “Rebel Without A Cause” at the time.  Since then, I’ve also seen “East of Eden” and “Giant” numerous times, as well as footage of when Dean starred alongside then actor Ronald Reagan.

Along with all of that, he was gorgeous and he would have been my biggest celeb heartthrob if I were a teen or twenty-something in his time.  It’s that dramatic, brooding and intense expressions in his film roles as well as so many well-known photos of him.  The attraction to that kind of look and acting style continues in me with some of my favorite present-day actors, who overall have a sort of James Dean vibe about them.

I went to an event out in Allentown a while back and two elderly women were at the door stamping attendees’ hands.  The shirt I had on featured a close-up of James Dean and it turned out both women commented on it as fans themselves.  I guess they appreciated seeing someone of a younger generation being a fan and I know that people younger than I am are among those who love ‘50s stars.  But that is just one example showing how Dean remains timeless as many generations can still connect with him or have been inspired by him in some way.

Sometime last year, I heard about a James Dean exhibit via the Fairmount Historical Museum’s Facebook page.  The exhibit was held at the Indiana State Museum and unfortunately, I couldn’t make it out there.  I’d like to go to the annual festival out in Fairmount as well.  The earliest year that I could do so is Sept. of 2015.  But until then, I’m awaiting a Blu-Ray collection of Dean’s movies, since the set includes bonus items, which I read about in this Cinema Blend article.

What is your favorite James Dean role / movie?