James Dean’s Most Fascinating Quotes

James Dean, born in 1931, is a Hollywood legend. He was an actor and a movie star who starred in three Hollywood movies and left his mark on the world of cinema for eternity. In high school he played football, acted in plays, and competed on the track team. After graduating from high school early at age 17 he moved to California with just thirty dollars in his pocket and a couple hundred dollars saved up from acting and modeling jobs back home.

James landed some roles in Hollywood films but didn’t have much success until 1955 when he co-starred with actress Elizabeth Taylor in the film East of Eden. The same year, he was also in Rebel Without a Cause which helped cement his on screen persona as a cool “bad boy” that women were attracted to and men wanted to be like. His final movie was Giant which was released after his death in 1956.

James died when he crashed his Porsche 550 Spyder in a head-on collision on September 30th 1955, when the actor was only 24 years old.

If you want to own his movies, here is the best box collection of James Dean movies is here.

Here are the most inspirational quotes from James.

James Dean Quotes

“If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” James Dean

“Remember: Life is short, break the rules.” James Dean

“My purpose in life does not include a hankering to charm society.” James Dean

“Only the gentle are ever really strong.” James Dean

“Remember: Life is short, break the rules (they were made to be broken) Forgive quickly, kiss slowly Love truly, laugh uncontrollably And never regret anything that makes you smile. The clouds are lined with silver and the glass is half full (though the answers won’t be found at the bottom) Don’t sweat the small stuff, You are who you are meant to be, Dance as if no one’s watching, Love as if it’s all you know, Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today.”James Dean

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“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean

“Am I in love? Absolutely. I’m in love with ancient philosophers, foreign painters, classic authors, and musicians who have died long ago. I’m a passionate lover. I fawn over these people. I have given them my heart and my soul. The trouble is, I’m unable to love anyone tangible. I have sacrificed a physical bond, for a metaphysical relationship. I am the ultimate idealistic lover.” James Dean

“At times there seems to be a million ideas worth painting. However, there are days when it’s a challenge to pull any idea together. On these days I go to my studio, leaf through an art history book, and tell myself that I am part of this great tradition.” James Dean

“Being a senior in high school means you’re not only getting closer to adulthood, but also ready to start thinking about your dreams and aspirations, whether that’s applying for college, joining the military, or seeing the world. It’s never too early to start thinking of your future, so use these high school senior year quotes about following dreams to inspire yourself and those around. Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean

“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.” James Dean

“Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse.” James Dean

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that’s all you have. Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.” James Dean

“I think the prime reason for existence, for living in this world is discovery.” James Dean

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I don’t have to explain anything to anybody.” James Dean

“An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet. In the short span of his lifetime, an actor must learn all there is to know, experience all there is to experience, or approach that state as closely as possible. He must be superhuman in his efforts to store away in the core of his subconscious everything that he might be called upon to use in the expression of his art.” James Dean

“I’m a serious-minded and intense little devil – terribly gauche and so tense that I don’t see how people can stay in the same room as me. I know I couldn’t tolerate myself.” James Dean

“If I had one day when I didn’t have to be all confused and didn’t have to feel that I was ashamed of everything. If I felt that I belonged someplace. You know?” James Dean

Related: The Best Quotes from East of Eden

“Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated.” James Dean

“Reality doesn’t have any preconceived ideas. You’ve got to learn how to smoke the cigarette, not act smoking the cigarette. You need to drink the drink, not act drinking the drink. You’ve got to do things and not show them.” James Dean

“I wouldn’t like me, if I had to be around me.” James Dean

“Take it easy driving– the life you save may be mine.” James Dean

“The only greatness for man is immortality.” James Dean

“Whatever’s inside making me what I am, it’s like film. Film only works in the dark. Tear it all open and let in the light and you kill it.” James Dean

“What do we need all that for?”If a picture is psychologically motivated, if there is truth in the relationship in it, then I think that picture will do good. I firmly believe Rebel Without A Cause is such a picture.” James Dean

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“I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.” James Dean

“Racing is the only time I feel whole.” James Dean

“An hour or two of learning from the masters is usually enough to recharge my artistic batteries.” James Dean

“To my way of thinking, an actor’s course is set even before he’s out of the cradle.” James Dean

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James Dean – Best Acting Moments

This is worth a watch if you want to remember how impressive James Dean was on screen.

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As you can see from the quotes above, James Dean was the epitome of the ‘cool’ rebel in the 1950s. He had a talent for making people believe that he led a life of danger and excitement. The best thing about Dean was his authenticity. He didn’t act rebellious, he acted REBELLIOUS!! His off-screen antics were as shocking to 50s audiences as his movies were.

Dean’s death at such a young age and under such tragic circumstances only served to make him an even bigger legend. We hope these quotes made you remember how cool he was.

If you want to own his movies, here is the best box collection of James Dean movies is here.

Image Credit: BernerAchim, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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