Troublemaker, rebel, actor and idol; James Byron Dean was all this and more. Because people could easily identify with him he became a legend for all times. From before the opening of East of Eden to well after his death he was loved by most and missed by all.
While living in New York, Dean first shot a small part on weekly programs. Shooting live for NBC and CBS. He appeared twice on Broadway and had a one line part in "Ten-Thousand Horses Singing." In this show he played an elevator boy who said, "This is the lobby." Jimmy was then known being very ambitious he was once quoted as saying, "I"m going to make it. I"m going to be famous. I don"t care what I have to get there." But, Dean didn"t have to do much.
Jimmy's attitude probably carried him the farthest. Everyone he knew either loved him or hated him, there was no in between. Dennis Hopper said, "Jimmy was the most creative person I ever knew He was twenty years ahead of his time." John Peyster was also quoted saying "If you knew your job, Jimmy respected you and gave no trouble it was a pleasure to direct him." Although this wasn"t always the case, Jimmy also had a dark side towards people. Dean was known as being the "most impossible, unprofessional, and aggravating actor." Both the director of East of Eden, Elia Kazan, and the director of Giant, George Stevens, were virtually traumatized. According to am rumor Stevens vowed "That Dean would never be in another picture I do!" Little did he know how right he was.
Even before the opening of East of Eden, Jimmy was well known. He had just started filming Rebel Without a Cause, and had just landed a role in Giant. On March 28, 1955 Rebel started shooting. Shortly after in April East of Eden opened nationwide. It was an instant success, he became even more of an idol than he already was. May 21st Giant began shooting and on the 25th Rebel finally finished. Dean joined the rest of the cast of Giant on the 3rd of June.