September 30, 1955
Death of the Rebel
James Dean was killed in an automobile accident today along with his mechanic Rolf Wutherich, when Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder crashed head-on into another car. The tormented young actor was the embodiment of an entire generation’s restless rebellion, made famous by his role in Rebel Without a Cause and called “the damaged but beautiful soul of our time” by Andy Warhol. He had always seemed to be searching for a way to release that restless energy, finding an outlet in the racing of cars and motorcycles. His fascination with cars and speed began when his father gave him his first ’39 Chevy. Ironically, Dean had been on his way to a car race at the time of his death.