James Dean – The cultural icon leaves its last breath in Cholame

An American actor who was enshrined as a symbol of the confused, restless, and idealistic youth of the 1950s. He had major roles in only three movies. In Rebel Without a Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and in Giant (1956).

In 1954, Dean became interested in developing a career in motorsport. Just before filming began on Rebel Without a Cause, he competed in his first professional event at the Palm Springs Road Races in 1955.

Hollywood actor James Dean crashed his car at the junction of California State Route 46 (former 466) and California State Route 41 / Image source

Τhe same year his career in motorsport was put on hold when Warner Brothers barred him from all racing during the production of Giant. Dean finished filming his scenes and decided to race again.

On September 30, 1955, Dean was traveling west in a brand new Porsche 550 Spyder on US Route 466 near Cholame to attend at the upcoming Salinas Road Race event scheduled for October 1-2. At 3:30 p.m., Dean was ticketed for speeding.

James Dean Memorial in Cholame. Dean died approximately one mile east of this point / Image source

About 5:45 p.m. 24-year-old actor is killed when the driving Porsche hits a Ford Tudor sedan. Dean, unable to stop in time, slammed into the passenger side of the Ford, resulting in his car bouncing across the pavement onto the side of the highway. The actor was trapped in the car and sustained numerous fatal injuries, including a broken neck.

Dean was pronounced dead on arrival shortly after he arrived by ambulance at the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital at 6:20 p.m.

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