1. James Byron Dean , in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark.
2. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden .
3. James Dean was born at the Seven Gables apartment house at the corner of 4th Street and McClure Street in Marion, Indiana, the son of Winton Dean .
4. His parents were of mostly English ancestry, with smaller amounts of Scottish, German, Irish and Welsh. Six years after his father had left farming to become a dental technician, Dean and his family moved to Santa Monica, California.
5. He was enrolled at Brentwood Public School in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, but transferred soon afterward to the McKinley Elementary school. The family spent several years there, and by all accounts, young Dean was very close to his mother.
6. According to Michael DeAngelis, she was “the only person capable of understanding him.” In 1938, she was suddenly struck with acute stomach pains and began to lose weight quickly.
7. She died of uterine cancer when Dean was nine years old.
8. In his adolescence, Dean sought the counsel and friendship of a local Methodist pastor, the Rev. James DeWeerd.
9. His overall performance in school was exceptional and he was also considered to be a popular student and having played on the baseball and varsity basketball teams, studied drama, and competed in public speaking through the Indiana High School Forensic Association.
10. After graduating from Fairmount High School in May 1949, Dean moved back to California with his dog, Max, to live with his father and stepmother.
11. He transferred to UCLA for one semester, which resulted in estrangement from his father.
12. In January 1951, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.
13. Dean worked at the widely filmed Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif during production of the program, for which a replica of the tomb of Jesus was built on location at the ranch.