A lot of nearly 400 James Dean-related memorabilia is going up for auction featuring artifacts from the late Hollywood legend, including signed photographs, letters and a Warner Bros. contract.
The scarce items linked to Dean come from the estate of the late actor’s agent in New York, Jane Deacy, who died in 2008, and the bidding begins May 25 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions.
“To say this collection is unprecedented is an understatement – although a few individual letters or signed documents have been sold, a James Dean collection of this size and quality has never been available since Dean’s death nearly 70 years ago,” Sanders said in a news report. Tuesday off.
Sanders continued, “A true Hollywood icon, James Dean set the template for cool that reverberates through our culture and even the world to this day.”
Among the pieces in the auction lot is a contact Dean made with Warner Bros. signed for his film debut, the Elia Kazan film East of Eden, dated April 7, 1954.
For Sale: A nearly 400-item lot of James Dean-related memorabilia is going up for auction with artifacts from the late Hollywood legend, including signed photographs, letters, and a Warner Bros. contract. An autographed photo of the late actor from the party is pictured
The auction house described the document as “one of the most important acting contracts in Hollywood history.”
Dean, who died at the age of 24 in a car accident on September 30, 1955, was only seen in two other films, the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause and the 1956 film Giant.
Other pieces in the valuable memorabilia collection include the Hollywood icon’s motorcycle registration card, as well as handwritten letters from Dean to Deacy discussing his fear of shooting East of Eden.
There is also an autographed photo dedicated to Deacy and addressed to ‘Mom’. The agent was reportedly like a second mother to Dean. The minimum bid for the photo is listed at $7500.
Dean is a big auction draw, with avid fans eager to own memorabilia associated with the 1950s movie icon.
In 2021, the 4-speed transaxle from the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder in which Dean crashed and died sold at auction for $382,000.
The car part was sold at an online auction and was part of the vehicle Dean was driving in an accident that killed the movie star.
Dean died in a head-on collision while driving alongside his mechanic Rolf Wütherich in his Porsche nicknamed ‘Li’l Bastard’.
Iconic: Dean, who died at the age of 24 in a car accident on September 30, 1955, starred in a total of three films, including the 1955 cult classic Rebel Without a Cause and the 1956 film Giant
Unique: a contract that the late movie star signed with Warner Bros. is one of the items in the lot
Rare: The collection includes a contact Dean had with Warner Bros. inked for his film debut, the Elia Kazan film East of Eden, dated April 7, 1954
Priceless: A photo Dean signed and addressed to ‘Mom’ among the items up for grabs
The pair were driving from Los Angeles to Salinas for a car race when Dean collided with a Ford Tudor driven by Donald Turnupseed at an intersection in Cholame.
Turnupseed suffered minor injuries, but Dean and his passenger Wütherich suffered serious injuries in the crash.
Both were transported to a local hospital and Dean would die en route.
Parts of the car, which have been called “cursed” for decades, have sold out over the years.
Dean was born in 1931 in Marion, Indiana. His father left farming to become a dental technician and the family subsequently moved to Santa Monica, California.
When Dean was just nine years old, his mother died of cancer. Unable to care for his son alone, his father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle on a farm in Fairmount, Indiana, where he grew up with a Quaker background.
Dean’s acting career began after he graduated from high school and moved back to Los Angeles to live with his father.
While attending UCLA, he was chosen to play Malcolm in Macbeth. He dropped out in January 1951 to pursue an acting career full-time and moved to New York City.
Three years later, he caught the attention of director Elia Kazan, playing a gay houseboy in the play, The Immoralist.
With John Steinbeck’s approval, Kazan cast Dean in a film adaptation of Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden, which made him famous.
Historic: The lot contains a 1955 license plate registration application for Dane
Original: There is also an envelope with a letter addressed to the deceased movie star
Unique: the auction also includes a handwritten letter that Dean writes
Memorabilia: Another letter addressed to ‘Dear Mama’
Bidding: The items associated with Dean come from the estate of the late actor’s agent, Jane Deacy, who died in 2008, and bidding begins May 25 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Unprecedented: ‘To say this collection is unprecedented is an understatement – although a few individual letters or signed documents have been sold, a James Dean collection of this size and quality has never been available since Dean’s death nearly 70 years ago Sanders said
Template for cool: Sanders continued, “James Dean, a true Hollywood icon, set the template for cool that reverberates through our culture and even the world to this day.”
A speed enthusiast, he reportedly used part of his East of Eden advance to buy a red convertible and a motorcycle. He later bought a white Porsche Super Speedster, which he used in road races.
The contract for his next film, Giant, forbade him to race, but after finishing the film he traded the Speedster for the more powerful Porsche 550 Spyder, which he nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’.
On the same day as his fatal crash, a police officer fined Dean for driving 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. Just two hours later, the rising star was dead.
Rebel Without A Cause was released a month after Dean’s death.
Dean was the first actor ever to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in East Of Eden in 1955.
The following year, he received a second posthumous Academy Award nomination for Giant.
He is buried in Fairmount, Indiana, near his uncle’s farm where he grew up.