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Lot #990
James Dean

DEAN’S GREEN: Rare thrice-signed check from screen legend JAMES DEAN

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DEAN’S GREEN: Rare thrice-signed check from screen legend JAMES DEAN

American actor (1931–1955) best known for his star turns in three 1950s screen classics: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant. His untimely death in a high-speed car crash came to represent the very embodiment of the “live fast, die young” philosophy—and elevated him to the status of a legend that remains unique in the annals of Hollywood. Rare bank check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out, signed, and endorsed by Dean, payable to himself for $10.00, December 14, 1953. Following actor James Whitmore’s advice, Dean moved to New York City to pursue a stage career. He was accepted to study under Lee Strasberg in the storied Actors Studio, an institution he described in a letter as “the greatest school of the theater. It houses great people like Marlon Brando, Julie Harris, Arthur Kennedy, Mildred Dunnock…. Very few get into it…. It is the best thing that can happen to an actor. I am one of the youngest to belong.” In early 1954, After a string of television appearances (and a famous turn as a “stunt tester” on the game show Beat the Clock) and a few memorable stage roles, Dean headed for Los Angeles to begin shooting East of Eden, the role that would garner him the first posthumous acting nomination in the history of the Academy Awards. In fine, clean condition, with expected cancellation holes touching payee signature, a single vertical crease, and slight show-through from a bank stamp behind payee signature. PSA/DNA Auction LOA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #334 - Ended June 18, 2008