James Dean. James Dean. James Dean. Forbes Excerpt.
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“Fifty years after his death, James Dean's persona is more sought after than ever, largely because his early demise left his image untouched by age. The rebellious heartthrob currently is used on everything from Hamilton watches, Lee Jeans and Franklin Mint collectibles to cards by American Greetings. … He’s still, well, a giant when it comes to licensing and merchandising … thanks to his enduring popularity in places like Japan, Europe and South America, where this rebel still seems to have a cause.”
Excerpt from Forbes.com
Almost fifty years after his untimely passing, Dean’s star shines more brightly than ever and his popularity extends worldwide among the young and old. Dean is the epitome of what's cool, and has been since 1954. His influence and his mystique continue to reach new audiences and he is considered one of popular culture's true greats.
Three great film performances made James Dean an instant star. In his short lifetime, James Dean only starred in 30 television, 2 Broadway plays, and 3 major motion pictures. Yet, he is recognized as a worldwide pop culture icon and he has emerged into a powerful brand name. Companies across the globe successfully market Dean products which include virtually every category from denim to eyewear to high end art photo-mosaics.
Racing was one of Dean’s passions. According to his dialogue coach and friend, Bill Hickman, “Racing was what [James Dean] cared about most… if he had lived he might have become a champion driver”. In a few weeks of driving, James Dean had graduated from the film star dilettante to becoming an accepted and respected member of the racing community. In his final days, he was planning a twelve month total dedication motor racing, for which he’d ordered a Lotus Mark IX sports car from England- a fully fledged track car. Racing was what he identified with. Through his talent, racing passion, and persona, James Dean broke boundaries, set standards, and pushed the innate soul of people to express themselves whether it’s in racing, acting or in life itself!
In March 1955 James Dean bought his Porsche 356 1,500cc Super Speedster convertible; and in September 1955 James Dean bought his silver Porsche 550 Spyder, he had the number 130 painted on the hood, and on the back end of the car, he commissioned car customizer George Barris to paint his nickname "Little Bastard," the nickname he got from Bill Hickman, who had been his dialogue coach on Giant.
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