Almost 60 years after the film’s release, the James Dean classic “Rebel Without A Cause” lost its screenwriter recently, leaving only one known cast member still alive.
The writer, Stewart Stern, died on February 2 at age 92 in Seattle. Stern created “Rebel” from an adaptation by Irving Shulman of director Nicholas Ray’s story. In reporting Stern’s death, the New York Times noted he was “best known” for that 1955 film that starred Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo.
Jack Grinnage is the only cast member thought to be alive. Grinnage played “Moose,” a member of Buzz Gunderson’s high school gang.
I posted two blogs about ‘Rebel’ deaths five years ago. “Dennis Hopper and the dwindling cast of ‘Rebel,’ on May 29, 2010, and “Corey Allen: 2 scenes and immortality,’ on June 30, the same year.
Since then, Beverly Long (“Helen”) died last year and Frank Mazzola (“Crunch”) passed away several weeks ago, on January 13, at age 79.
Stern, according to the Times, based James Dean (“Jim Stark”) and parents on his own family, who were “unnaturally detached and seemingly incapable of love.”
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun in 2005, Stern said, yes, his parents had seen the film.
“They thought it was marvelous,” he was quoted as saying. “But they never recognized themselves.”