1996 32c Legends of Hollywood: James Dean

# 3082 - 1996 32c Legends of Hollywood: James Dean

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US #3082
1996 James Dean

  • 2nd stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series
  • Pictures the Oscar-nominated film actor

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Legends of Hollywood
Value:   32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  June 24, 1996
First Day City:  Burbank, California
Quantity Issued:  150,000,000
Printed by:  Stamp Venturers
Printing Method:  Photogravure
Format:  Panes of 20 (5 across, 4 down) from printing cylinders of 120 stamps (10 across, 12 down)
Perforations:  11.1

Why the stamp was issued:  The James Dean stamp was issued in honor of the Oscar-nominated actor who represented the rebellious attitude many teenagers of his time identified with.

About the stamp design:  Michael Deas was the artist who created the Marilyn Monroe stamp, the previous Legends of Hollywood issue.  Deas used a 1954 photograph of Dean taken by Roy Schatt as inspiration for the stamp image.  Deas made an oil painting of Dean with darkening skies in the background.  The artist said the skies reflect the turmoil of the characters Dean played.

Special design details: 
The agency that handles the rights to James Dean insisted that each stamp include the trademark symbol below Dean’s name.  Hesitant to include this, the USPS printed it in very small black letters in the dark gray background.

About the printing process:  The perforations in the corners are star shaped, reflecting Dean’s movie star status.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the Warner Bros. Studios where Dean’s movies were filmed.

About the Legends of Hollywood Series:  The Legends of Hollywood series began on June 1, 1995 with the release of the Marilyn Monroe stamp.  Each Legends of Hollywood stamp includes a painting of the star and their signature on the stamp design itself, with a larger image of the star plus information about their career in the selvage.  The series continued until 2016 with the final stamp picturing Shirley Temple.

History the stamp represents:

James Dean was a rebel who took the nation by storm during the conservative 1950s.  A New York Times article dismissed Dean as “an honor graduate of the black leather jacket and motorcycle school of acting and living it up.” Ironically, that’s exactly what appealed to his youthful following. Dean symbolized the frustration of teenagers everywhere.
Dean’s big break came in East of Eden. He became an overnight star after its release in March of 1955. A special celebrity preview was held on Broadway with Marilyn Monroe as a guest usherette. Dean, who had begun filming Rebel Without a Cause, skipped the premiere. The film made Variety’s list of top grossing films by the end of the month and would eventually reach number one. Dean received a Best Actor nomination, one of only five actors to be nominated in the category for a first film.

Dean then portrayed an emotionally confused teenager in Rebel Without a Cause. Although parents were disturbed by the violence in the film, teens identified with the timeless story of a teenager’s struggle to become an adult. The film was released one month after his death and became synonymous with Dean.

Giant was Dean’s third and final movie. Once again Dean portrayed a sullen young man, tortured by envy and unattainable love. Giant received ten Academy Award nominations when it was released in 1956.
A few days after he finished filming for Giant, Dean drove his silver Porsche 550 Spyder roadster to a race in Salinas, California. As he was driving, a college student pulled in front of him at the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 near Cholame. Dean was unable to stop in time and crashed into the other car. James Dean was dead at the age of 24.
James Dean lived fast, died young, and was idolized by many. We can’t help but wonder what his career could have held in store.

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US #3082
1996 James Dean

  • 2nd stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series
  • Pictures the Oscar-nominated film actor

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Legends of Hollywood
Value:   32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  June 24, 1996
First Day City:  Burbank, California
Quantity Issued:  150,000,000
Printed by:  Stamp Venturers
Printing Method:  Photogravure
Format:  Panes of 20 (5 across, 4 down) from printing cylinders of 120 stamps (10 across, 12 down)
Perforations:  11.1

Why the stamp was issued:  The James Dean stamp was issued in honor of the Oscar-nominated actor who represented the rebellious attitude many teenagers of his time identified with.

About the stamp design:  Michael Deas was the artist who created the Marilyn Monroe stamp, the previous Legends of Hollywood issue.  Deas used a 1954 photograph of Dean taken by Roy Schatt as inspiration for the stamp image.  Deas made an oil painting of Dean with darkening skies in the background.  The artist said the skies reflect the turmoil of the characters Dean played.

Special design details: 
The agency that handles the rights to James Dean insisted that each stamp include the trademark symbol below Dean’s name.  Hesitant to include this, the USPS printed it in very small black letters in the dark gray background.

About the printing process:  The perforations in the corners are star shaped, reflecting Dean’s movie star status.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the Warner Bros. Studios where Dean’s movies were filmed.

About the Legends of Hollywood Series:  The Legends of Hollywood series began on June 1, 1995 with the release of the Marilyn Monroe stamp.  Each Legends of Hollywood stamp includes a painting of the star and their signature on the stamp design itself, with a larger image of the star plus information about their career in the selvage.  The series continued until 2016 with the final stamp picturing Shirley Temple.

History the stamp represents:

James Dean was a rebel who took the nation by storm during the conservative 1950s.  A New York Times article dismissed Dean as “an honor graduate of the black leather jacket and motorcycle school of acting and living it up.” Ironically, that’s exactly what appealed to his youthful following. Dean symbolized the frustration of teenagers everywhere.
Dean’s big break came in East of Eden. He became an overnight star after its release in March of 1955. A special celebrity preview was held on Broadway with Marilyn Monroe as a guest usherette. Dean, who had begun filming Rebel Without a Cause, skipped the premiere. The film made Variety’s list of top grossing films by the end of the month and would eventually reach number one. Dean received a Best Actor nomination, one of only five actors to be nominated in the category for a first film.

Dean then portrayed an emotionally confused teenager in Rebel Without a Cause. Although parents were disturbed by the violence in the film, teens identified with the timeless story of a teenager’s struggle to become an adult. The film was released one month after his death and became synonymous with Dean.

Giant was Dean’s third and final movie. Once again Dean portrayed a sullen young man, tortured by envy and unattainable love. Giant received ten Academy Award nominations when it was released in 1956.
A few days after he finished filming for Giant, Dean drove his silver Porsche 550 Spyder roadster to a race in Salinas, California. As he was driving, a college student pulled in front of him at the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 near Cholame. Dean was unable to stop in time and crashed into the other car. James Dean was dead at the age of 24.
James Dean lived fast, died young, and was idolized by many. We can’t help but wonder what his career could have held in store.