Cast of “Rebel Without a Cause”

1998 AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies #59

Rebel Without a Cause DeathSome call it "Rebel Without a Cause Curse"

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) is a film directed by Nicholas Ray that tells the story of a rebellious teenager played by James Dean, who comes to a new town, meets a girl, defies his parents, and faces the local high school bullies. It sought to portray the existing decay of youth in middle America, critique parental style, and expose the rift between two generations. The title is taken from psychiatrist Robert Lindner’s 1944 book, Rebel Without A Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath but has no other relationship to the book.

In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to the preserved films of the United States Library of Congress’s National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Cast with tragic death

  • James Dean – Jim Stark
  • Natalie Wood – Judy
  • Sal Mineo – John "Plato" Crawford
  • Nick Adams – Moose

James Dean
James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955): Died in traffic accident at the age of 24. Accident was caused by opposit way driver hitting James Dean head on.

Natalie Wood
(July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) Her drowned body was found at Catalina Island, California. Aged 43

Salvatore "Sal" Mineo, Jr.
(January 10, 1939 – February 12, 1976) Arriving home after a rehearsal on February 12, 1976, Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in the alley behind a West Hollywood apartment building. He was 37 years old.

Nick Adams
(July 10, 1931 – February 7, 1968) His lawyer/friend Erwin Roeder found Nick Adams’ dead body at his house. He was 26 years old. Cause of death is still a mystery (accident, drug, suicide…)