Actor James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931, at the Seven Gables apartment on the corner of 4th Street and McClure Street in Marion, Indiana, southwest of Fort Wayne. Like the larger city, they named Marion for a Revolutionary War general, this time Brigadier General Francis Marion.
His parents Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton Dean, a dental technician, were natives of the area. Their only child was Jimmy, and when the boy was about six years old, they moved to Los Angeles for presumably better business opportunities. Unfortunately, Mrs. Dean died a few years later, shortly before her thirtieth birthday, when Dean was about nine years old, of uterine cancer.
In Paul Alexander’s 1994 book Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean claims in his adolescence, Dean sought the counsel and friendship of a local Methodist pastor, the Rev. James DeWeerd, one of the two ministers that officiated at Jimmy’s funeral. But Alexander goes beyond that relationship, stating that Jimmy used his sexuality to advance his film opportunities with many older, and well-known gay men, like Clifton Webb.
Perhaps the minister, or just a proxy for his male relationships as a while, is the Saturn figure at 18 Capricorn 07 with the Sabian symbol of “a little boy goes shopping”, in the second house? It is hard to know but his progressed death chart suggests he was unhappy about some relationship that was literally choking his growth but was it DeWeerd?
Dean himself refuted these comments, and his best friend knew of several Dean heterosexual relationships, so the Alexander story could just be a good copy; anything on James Dean sells to the gay community who considers Dean the #1 Gay Icon.
A natural style
Dean gets the athletic ascendant of 04 Sagittarius 32 of the symbol of an “OLD OWL UP IN A TREE ” suggesting the natural wisdom one gains their knowledge from life, not books, recommending Dean remain focused on his naturalness, that is the key reason for Dean’s success — he convincingly conveyed his character’s defiance in the few movies he made.
Many Symbol readers use the opposite degree, as how they use their ascendant with others. For Jimmy Dean, no relation to the sausage company, we get “A radical magazine” and that is perfect because that is how the Hollywood marketing machine packaged him. Dean was also something “extraordinary and unorthodox” i.e. a Rebel without a Cause and Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.”
It is possible this “rebel” image hung around his neck and hamstrung his desires to move beyond those roles; his fellow actor in Rebel, Sal Mineo, commented, “No one ever said movies are for developing your range. Hardly anyone gets that opportunity, “ and perhaps Dean’s auto-racing was his way of busting out of the typecast and living life more on his own terms.
Oh, those dreamy eyes
His heavy lidded dreamy sex appeal shows up with the progressed Moon conjunct his Midheaven and then it conjunct Neptune. Opposite his natal Mercury and Sun. While these mannerisms were staples of the New York City’s Actor’s Studio, where Lee Strasberg taught Method Acting. (Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman are other famous male graduates) they were a natural for Dean and his native Moon in the eleventh the effect on his adoring public.
But all of this overshadowed by his untimely death in the car he dubbed the Little Bastard. Reports were that Dean was driving, but years later it was revealed it was the Porsche mechanic Rolf Wütherich who was really at the wheel and Dean in the passenger seat, of course sans a seat belt. Wutherlich was badly injured but survived as did 23-year-old Donald Turnupseed who was driving the oncoming 1950 Ford Tudor. This revelation came out from Wutherich’s wife after he died in a drunk driving accident in 1981 because she said he never could forgive himself for killing Dean. A true tragedy.