A James Dean Autograph for His Last Role
James Dean’s 1955 tragic death at the young age of 24 stunned the world, particularly as Hollywood’s original bad boy was at the height of his fame. Though he only starred in a few films before the tragic California car crash that ended in his death, few stars continue to be shrouded in intrigue as Dean.
He died in the crash soon after completing “Giant” and as the Hollywood show must go on, it was rumored Warner Bros. feared “people wouldn’t go to see a film with a deceased actor. There was a concern it would overwhelm the release.” This according to George Stevens Jr., a production assistant and son of the film’s director, George Stevens.
The film was a hit and Dean became the first and only actor to receive not one but two posthumous Oscar nominations for “East of Eden,” released in March 1955, and for “Giant.”
The sweeping historical epic “Giant” portrays a powerful Texas ranching family challenged by changing times and the coming of big oil.
Here’s Dean in a memorable scene from “Giant” —
We have in our current auction Signed copy of ”Giant” by American novelist and Edna Ferber who published the book that the film is based upon in 1953.
Incredible Crew-Signed Copy of ”Giant” — Signed by the Movie’s Director & Cast Including James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson & More
Mass market paperback is signed upon the inside of the pictorial front cover and fly-leaf by the stars of the film adaptation, ”James Dean”, ”Elizabeth Taylor”, ”Rock Hudson”, ”Jane Withers”, ”Mercedes McCambridge” and by the director ”George Stevens” and special effects designer ”Harold Webb”. Webb, Withers and McCambridge add a dedication in their hand.
James Dean may have signed twice as ”James” appears again above Rock Hudson’s signature.
In the auction world, James Dean memorabilia is one of the most expensive Hollywood names, and the seemingly ever-appreciating value of James Dean memorabilia has even spurned its own lingo — known as the “James Dean Effect,” or auction-speak describing that phenomenon of when the death of an enduring icon causes values of their memorabilia to appreciate over time.
Previously, we auctioned a brown wool sport coat worn by in “East of Eden” for an incredible $11,858.40 His pants from the film auctioned for another $11,595.60, and a shirt an additional $11,858.40 – making the star’s screen-worn outfit worth over $30 thousand dollars.
The Screen-worn “East of Eden” shirt has a cool sewn-in Warner Brothers production tag dated 27 May 1954 and marked ”Jim Dean.” (Click on shirt below)
From “East of Eden,” Dean’s career took off as he landed a starring role as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark in “Rebel Without a Cause.” The film cemented his reputation as a cultural icon, and as a direct result of that movie, t-shirt sales soared in 1955.
We auctioned the original “Rebel Without a Cause” T-shirt Dean wore in the film for a whopping $6,082.80.
The t-shirt, obtained from make-up artist Gordon Bau who did Dean’s make-up in three of his films, personified his bad-boy image — and though it’s just a white t-shirt, the fact that Dean once wore it makes it value worth a whole lot more than the simple cottons threads it’s made of. (Click on photo for item details)