Rebel the Life and Legend of James Dean

3.8 avg rating
( 241 ratings by Goodreads )
9780002556873: Rebel the Life and Legend of James Dean

Based on meticulous research and new interviews with dozens of family members, friends, lovers, directors, and costars, Rebel offers a revelatory look at actor and film icon James Dean (1931-1955). From the dusty roads of rural Indiana to Manhattan's gay culture , from Broadway to Burbank, here is Dean's troubled life: the tragic death of his mother when he was nine; his tumultous relationship with his father; his rise to stardom in New York and Hollywood and his on-and off-screen exploits.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.


The good news: James Dean probably wasn't a male hustler and he didn't act in pornographic films while he was still trying to make a go of it as an actor in New York. The bad news: James Dean was pretty much of a jerk, with a penchant for urinating in public and a singular lack of personal hygiene. Donald Spoto, the biographer of, among others, Alfred Hitchcock, Marlene Dietrich, and Marilyn Monroe, takes a clear-eyed dispassionate look at the legend of James Dean and discovers that his untimely death was probably his greatest career move of all.

From the Publisher:

There's only one true form of greatness for a man. If he can bridge the gap between life and death... if he can live on after he's died... then maybe he was a great man. Whatever's the truth, you've got to live fast." -- James Dean

America's most enduring symbol of rebellious youth, James Dean has continuously held the world's fascination since his tragic death at the age of 24 more than 40 years ago. In the first complete, fully documented biography of this enigmatic hero, internationally celebrated author Donald Spoto offers a startlingly revelatory look at the short, greatly misunderstood life of an icon who remains frozen in time.

From the dusty roads of rural Indiana to the college campuses of California, from Broadway to Burbank, from Manhattan's gay culture to the winding roads of the Hollywood hills, James Dean comes vividly to life as Spoto reveals the brilliant, gifted and troubled young man. With the cooperation of dozens of family members, friends, lovers, directors, costars, the whole picture emerges at last: the forced marriage of Dean's parents; the tragic death of Jimmy's mother when he was nine; his tumultuous relationship with his father, which later was partly responsible for the creation of the angry young man in American culture; and Dean's electrifying rise to stardom in New York and Hollywood.

Drawing on extraordinary mines of fresh material, including accounts of Dean's earliest television appearances and his on- and off-screen exploits while filming the classics East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant, Spoto candidly explores Dean's years at the center of a group of actors who came to define the new generation of Hollywood idols and American ideals, including Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper and Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood and Pier Angeli, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, Here, too, is the story of Dean's convoluted sexual life, which included simultaneous affairs with men and women.

James Dean remains the eternal teenage rebel -- tough but vulnerable, rude but tenderhearted, pained but brilliant. Based on a wealth of meticulous original research and new interviews, Rebel offers an illuminating perspective on the boy/man who has become the embodiment of rebellious youth -- and on the American culture that has made him a living hero decades later.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace


Donald Spoto
Published by Harpercollins Publishers (1996)
ISBN 10: 0002556871 ISBN 13: 9780002556873
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0002556871

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds