HOME, JAMES

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Profile - Stephen Romei

Ev­ery­one knows the pho­to­graph of James Dean walk­ing in the rain at Times Square, but what about the one of him com­muning with a cow, or beat­ing the bon­gos for a pig? Such bu­colic scenes are part of the charm of Den­nis Stock: James Dean, a new book that col­lects the pho­tog­ra­pher’s shots of the ac­tor for Life mag­a­zine in March 1955, to co­in­cide with the re­lease of East of Eden.

Stock’s aim was a photo-es­say of the ac­tor’s ori­gins in ru­ral Fair­mount, In­di­ana, as well as his early years in New York. The re­sult was an un­guarded, mostly unglam­orous, por­trait of a young man who would soon be the hottest star in the world, and who would be dead be­fore the year was out, his next two films, Rebel With­out a Cause and Gi­ant, re­leased posthu­mously. As Stock re­calls in Joe Hyams’s in­tro­duc­tion to the book, “We were both sad­dened by the end of the week in Fair­mount. I think we both knew that Jimmy would never come back home again and that life would never be the same for him there.

“The trip was re­ally a nos­tal­gic farewell to his ori­gins, his way of say­ing good­bye to the past. I don’t mean to im­ply that he felt he was go­ing to die, but I be­lieve he felt he was truly on the way to a far dif­fer­ent life.’’

Dean and his cousin Markie at the grave of the ac­tor’s great­grand­fa­ther, Cal Dean, in Fair­mount’s Park Ceme­tery

In a bar­ber shop near Times Square, New York. ‘He was not at all fas­tid­i­ous about his looks; in fact, he would turn up more of­ten than not in shaggy-dog style,’ re­calls Den­nis Stock

Dean re­turns to the Fair­mont, In­di­ana, farm be­long­ing to Ortense and Mar­cus Winslow, the aunt and un­cle who raised him af­ter his mother died of can­cer in 1940

Dean in a scene from Rebel With­out a Cause, which was re­leased af­ter his death

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