On James Dean

While James Dean was only able to complete a few films before his death, his rebel, cool persona instantly connected with a generation that has never forgotten. Below those who knew him well recall the Hollywood titan.

1. Elizabeth Taylor

"I think he had no only the training of method acting, but I think he was also instinctive. We had an extraordinary friendship. We would sometimes sit up until three in the morning… I loved him."

2. Natalie Wood

“Jimmy’s proud to be an actor, don’t ever doubt that. But it’s not for the fame, the glamour, the money. It’s the sense of achievement, the thrill of doing a good job.”

3. Julie Harris

"I thought he was absolutely mesmerizing. I thought his performance [in East of Eden] was so beautiful and had such variety to it."

4. Merdedes McCambridge

“James Dean was a dedicated, perfectionist actor. I watched him develop bits of business until they seemed a part of his nature.”

5. James Dean, 1948 essay

“I think my life will be devoted to art and dramatics… I know if I better myself that there will be no match… a fellow must have confidence.”