One Sunday afternoon in May, while Ted Hartman and I were working on a new television project at my place, Jimmy turned up unexpectedly and asked if I wanted to take a drive to the beach. I jumped at the idea. I explained that Ted had to get home soon, so we’d be breaking shortly, if Jimmy didn’t mind waiting. Jimmy nodded and said he’d listen to some of my records in the other room. Ted and I went back to work, but after few minutes, we became aware of some rather mournful music from the other room, and I remember wishing that Jimmy had selected something a bit more upbeat. We were writing a sitcom. About ten minutes later, Jimmy turned off the music, said he had somebody to see, and cut out, leaving as abruptly as he arrived. It bothered me somehow because I had the feeling he wanted to talk to me. I dismissed it, however, and went back to work. About fifteen minutes later, Ted and I decided to call it a day, and he left, as well. It was a special day, and he was eager to get home to his family. I stepped to the window to watch him go and was surprised to see Jimmy still sitting behind the wheel of his car in the street below. He was just sitting there, staring straight ahead at nothing in particular. Was he waiting for me, or what? Then it hit me, and my heart sank. Suddenly I understood everything, his mood, his need for company. I hurried downstairs and outside. But by then his car was roaring off down the street. I called after him, but, of course, he couldn’t hear. I kicked myself for not realizing it sooner. It was Mother’s Day. - Bill Bast, Surviving James Dean
“Jimmy in my eyes was the prime example of the new type of American. A leader of a new way of living, way of thinking, way of behaving, a way of dressing. Anyone who knew him well, and I believe I did, knew that he could make you feel as if anything were possible.” -Pier Angeli
You had a laugh that came right from the pit of your stomach - it was wholesome; such a natural form of energy and excitement that’s shown through your dimpled cheeks and your eyes that squinted ever so slightly. Its obvious you enjoyed it, it is one of many things we enjoy seeing from you - but unfortunately for us, we only got to see that moment captured three times on film, it separated you from your characters, and the sound of your laugh is one of those things that we are able to hear over and over in our minds, it had personality in itself. It has a certain form of ‘emotional capability’ that we remember, that makes us either smile, or cry. Seeing as it just brightened his face immensely, I sincerely hope he allows himself to laugh today…where ever he might be.