1. In April of 1955, “Life” magazine commissioned photographer Dennis Stock to do a “visual biography” on the life of up-and-coming actor James Dean. As part of the story, it included a trip to his boyhood home of Fairmount, IN.
Stock took this iconic picture of James Dean in Times Square as part of the story.
2. Dean decided to eerily pose inside of a coffin for a series of shots, at the local department store in Fairmount.
12. Sadly, this would be the last time Dean ever returned alive to his boyhood home. He died on September 30, 1955, in a car accident, near Paso Robles, CA. He is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount.
Dean and Little Bastard his Porsche 550 that he had the accident in.
13. In 1956, George Stevens, director of Dean’s last and posthumous film “Giant”, was forced to address the photos while promoting the film.
Stevens told the AP:
“Jimmy Dean lived every day for the future. He had no more premonition of death than you or I… The picture beside the coffin was made when Dean visited a high school chum in his home town. It was a gag picture that any young man might post for on an impulse.”