The father of actor James Dean, the rebel without a cause whose celebrity in death helped keep his father alive in a nursing home, has died, nursing home officials said yesterday.
Winston Dean, 88, died Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He worked at several jobs in his lifetime, much of it spent in the Los Angeles area.
For a brief period in the early 1950s, the younger Dean, then a struggling actor, lived with his father in Los Angeles after years of separation, but the two did not get along.
Dean -- who became an idol starring in the movies "Rebel Without a Cause" and "East of Eden" -- died in 1955 at age 24 when his speeding Porsche crashed on an isolated stretch of highway in central California.
Winston Dean will be buried in the same Fairmont, Ind., cemetery as his son, where countless fans make pilgrimages to his grave.
Dean was very close to his mother but she died when he was 10, and he was raised on the Indiana farm of his maternal aunt and uncle near Fairmont.
Some of the millions of dollars in proceeds from Dean's licensed image -- the subject of a 1992 court battle between his family and Warner Bros. Inc., the producers of "East of Eden" -- went to pay for Winston Dean's nursing care.