* James Dean was raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana.
* One rumour has it that Dean's middle name Byron, comes from a friend of Jimmy's dad who worked in their neighbourhood in Fairmount. Another rumour has it that Dean got his middle name, Byron, from his mothers favorite poet Lord Byron. His mother always read poetry.
* Dean's acting breakthrough came on Broadway in the drama "See the Jaquar, " despite its run of less than a week.
* He Received rave reviews for his work as the blackmailing Arab boy in the New York Broadway production of Gide's "The Immortalist". He won the Bloom Award as "Best Newcomer" for his performance & this was good enough to earn him a trip to Hollywood.
* Dean briefly studied dance with Katherine Dunham.
* Dean worked as a "stunt tester" on the original "Beat The Clock" game show in 1950, testing the safety of the stunts that some of the studio audience members would later perform.
* Dean's early film efforts were strictly bit parts: a sailor in the Martin & Lewis musical comedy "Sailor Beware" (1951); a GI in the Korean War film "Fixed Bayonets" (1951); a youth in the Piper Laurie, Rock Hudson comedy "Has Anybody Seen My Gal?" (1952).
* Dean had major roles in only three movies: "East of Eden" (1955), "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) & "Giant" (1956).
* In the Elia Kazan production of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" (1955), Dean played Caleb, the "bad" brother in conflict with his father.
* His true starring role, the one which fixed his image forever in American culture, was that of the brooding teenager Jim Stark in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955).
* In Giant (1956) he co-starred with Rock Hudson & Elizabeth Taylor to play the non-conforming cowhand Jett Rink.
* Production on "Giant" was coming to a close when Dean, driving his Porsche Spyder, collided with another car just east of Paso Robles, California. He had received a speeding ticket just two hours before. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicized funeral transformed James Dean into an American cult icon.
* In 1995 Dean was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history. He ranked 42nd.
* In October 1997 he ranked 33rd in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
* During his short career his so called affairs with various starlets were made up by the Warner Brothers PR.
* Reportedly, Dean was in love with Pier Angeli & planned to marry her, but Pier's mother opposed the union because Dean wasn't Catholic, & helped arrange Pier's marriage to Vic Damone. Before she committed suicide, Pier wrote that Dean was the only man she had ever really loved.
* "Jim Dean and Elvis were the spokesmen for an entire generation. When I was in acting school in New York, years ago, there was a saying that if Marlon Brando changed the way people acted, then James Dean changed the way people lived. He was the greatest actor who ever lived. He was simply a genius." - Martin Sheen
* James Dean was one of only five actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance.
* James Dean received a posthumous Best Actor Oscar nomination for "Giant".