- First professional acting job was a commercial for Pepsi.
- Worked as a stunt tester for TV's Beat the Clock.
- Drove competitively in professional car races; placed in the Top 3 in the first two events.
- Received his only two Academy Award nominations after he died; the initial one (for 1955's East of Eden) was the first posthumous acting nomination in Oscar history.
- Honored on a U.S. postage stamp in 1996.
- In 2002, the intersection where he was killed in a car accident was officially renamed the James Dean Memorial Junction.
- 1956, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actor: Nominee
- 1955, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 1955, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actor: Nominee
- 1957, Golden Globe — Henrietta Award (World Film Favorites): Winner
- 1956, Golden Globe — Special Achievement: Winner
- 1956, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
- Liz Sheridan — Ex-significant Other
- Winton Dean — Father
- Mildred Dean — Mother
- Pier Angeli — Ex-significant Other
- Attended Santa Monica Junior College, Santa Monica, CA; attended University of California, Los Angeles, CA
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