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James Dean Died 50 Years Ago Today

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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:34 AM
Original message
James Dean Died 50 Years Ago Today
<snip>

James Dean has been dead for 50 years. That's hard to imagine, just as it's hard to imagine that he was ever alive, at least alive in the normal sense of occupying space and being in only one place at any given time. These mundane facts -- life, death, time, space -- are hard to reconcile with the whole Dean package, the talent, the legend and the iconography that have accumulated around his memory in the years since his fatal smash-up on Sept. 30, 1955.

He was in a race, and today he reaches the finish line. He should have been 74 years old and contemplating his mortality. Instead he is 50 years dead and entering classic immortality. He never heard the Beatles. He probably never heard of Jack Kennedy, read Jack Kerouac or listened to Elvis. He is from another time. He wouldn't recognize us, and though we think we know him, we don't really. Not completely. There's something there. We keep going back, and Dean remains, always giving, always revealing and always, somehow, elusive.

He is the only actor I know who's impossible to watch without knowing he's dead. You can watch Humphrey Bogart and forget about it. You can even watch Marilyn Monroe and forget about it. But with Dean, his being dead seems part of the point. To watch him is to simultaneously grieve him. There he is, so emotional, and he's dead; so young and beautiful, and he's dead. For most classic actors, death is just a passing phase, a speed bump that the public consciousness encounters and processes, on the way to seeing the actor as alive again, if only in art. But Dean's is the death that keeps on giving.

Maybe we're still not over it. We assume we are, until we see him again, in "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause" or "Giant," and then the mix of feelings comes back -- the what-a-waste sadness, the fascination, the astonishment at witnessing a singular talent, and the exalted weirdness of seeing the beginning of something wonderful, the end of something wonderful and the flowering of something wonderful, all at the same time.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/0...
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great sausage
That didn't sound right.
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GayCanuck Donating Member (170 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:42 AM
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2. Oh My God
That long ago? What a cutie.
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Tallison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. Then he died on BB King's 30th birthday
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 08:37 PM by Tallison
Today's his 80th.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. His memorial on Hwy. 46 at Chalome is not far from me
Over many years, have thought of him. He was hit by a truck driven by a guy named Donald Turnipseed.

Artist: David Essex
Song: Rock On

Hey kid, rock and roll
Rock on, ooh, my soul
Hey kid, boogey too, did ya

Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey kid, rock and roll, rock on

And where do we go from here
Which is the way that's clear

Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
(James Dean)

And where do we go from here
Which is the way that's clear

Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
Jimmy Dean
Rock on
Rock on
Rock on

Hey, hey
Rock and roll
Rock on

Rock on
Hey, hey
Rock and roll
Rock on

Rock on
Hey, hey
Rock and roll
Rock on

Rock on
Hey, hey
Rock and roll
Rock on........

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