James Dean only ever made three movies in his short-lived career. 1955s East of Eden where he portrayed the bad-boy murderous brother in a retelling of the biblical Cain and Abel story. 1955s Rebel Without a Cause which proved to be his signature role as an angst-ridden teen and 1956s Giant. Where he stepped into a pair of cowboy boots and played a nonconformist ranch hand.
All of these films went on to become unforgettable Hollywood classics. But unfortunately, Dean only lived to see one of them, East of Eden, in its completed form. On September 30, 1955, the 24-year-old heartthrob was driving down Route 466 in his shiny new Porsche 55 Spyder when another vehicle smashed into his killing him nearly instantaneously.
The young up-and-coming star’s career mournfully cut short. But as is often the case when many young celebrities die too soon. His premature death greatly contributed to the legend that he would inevitably become. Both Rebel Without a Cause and Giant released posthumously and Dean became synonymous with the sensitive yet troubled rebel type that fans still resonate with today.
Years after James Dean’s untimely death, private details pertaining to his love life started trickling out of the woodwork. Handwritten notes to Barbara Glenn, whom Dean dated for two years, have been sitting in her family’s archive for years and have only relatively recently come to light. Let’s see what kind of secrets contained in those letters and what Glenn’s family intends to do with them moving forward. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the James Dean’s Secret Love Letters Revealed Tragic Details.
Keith Gordon Is The Current Owner Of The Letters
American actor and film director Keith Gordon, son of actor and stage director Mark Gordon and New York actress Barbara Gordon nee Glenn. James Deans former girlfriend, is the current owner of these revealing love letters.
Before Keith’s parents passed away, they both spoke to him privately about the letters. His mother, on her deathbed, instructed him to never get rid of the letters while his father pleaded that he needed to get rid of the letters no matter what else he did. Ever since then, Keith has felt that there was no way for him to win. Either way, he bound to disrespect one of his parent’s wishes.
James wrote those letters to Keith’s mother while he was experiencing his meteoric to fame. The couple, who had introduced by actor Martin Landau. Dated for two years but remained exceptionally close even after Dean moved away to California to pursue his acting career in Hollywood. Keith describes their relationship as a peculiar mixture of romance and friendship.
In 2011, Keith sold three of the letters through Christie’s auction house in London but has held on to several others for the last decade. The letters confirm in explicit detail many of the attributes that have been ascribed to Dean.
According to Keith who obviously has a pretty good idea of what the letters contain. Dean was a man who was very obsessed with his work, his art, and consistently with doing a good job at whatever project he committed himself to.
Dean had very little patience with people who were foolish and offered up stupid ideas. But he certainly had a sense of humor. It’s fairly clear from his emotional correspondence with Glenn that he was also particularly lonely. He would often express how much he missed Barbara and how he struggled with being so far away from her.
Keith describes Dean as an ‘intense, somewhat lonely and…confused guy’. And through the pages of those intimate letters. One gets the sense that they had quite a few ups and downs throughout their whirlwind of a romance.
In one of the letters, James suddenly and unexpectedly chastises Barbara for accepting a swimsuit modeling job. He took on this moralistic tone and insisted that she was ‘selling herself out cheap’. One might even interpret that as something that a possessive boyfriend might say.
He equated her choices to prostituting herself which was a fairly absurd notion because she wasn’t even nude in those modeling photos. Keith says that he found that particularly odd since both James and his mother were from what he described as the ‘super-hip 1950s crowd’. Most of their contemporaries wouldn’t have thought twice about taking such a job. But Dean was evidently a bit more conservative than some of his colleagues.
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Keith Knew Very Little About His Mother’s Romance With Dean
Growing up, Keith didn’t hear much about his mother’s relationship with the legendary actor. He described the romance as ‘this weird semi-family secret’ because his father would always get super jealous whenever the topic would come up in conversation. But Keith admits that he doesn’t blame his father for feeling that way.
Barbara’s relationship with Jimmy was a major milestone in her life. Keith even suspects that their union – albeit as brief as it was – was the love of her life. She was a couple of years younger than he was, and likely it was her first big romance.
Before James’ death, Barbara confessed to him that she had met Mark. The man she would inevitably marry and start a family with. In the last letter that Dean sent to Barbara, he described Mark as a good man. He further acknowledged that what they had was ‘too crazy’ and that it was ‘never going to work’. Dean was just happy that she found someone who was stable and sane. In his own way, Dean gave Barbara his blessing. Although he undoubtedly felt somewhat conflicted about how things had played out.
That last letter is the one that Keith is least likely to part with. He describes it as exceptionally sweet and personal and that it’s the one that he likes the most because it actually relates to his own story in a way. Without that letter, it’s very possible that he would have never come to be in the first place. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the James Dean’s Secret Love Letters Revealed Tragic Details.
The Letters Are Going Up For Auction
Three letters sent in 1954 are to be sold separately but are estimated to bring in a total of 16,000 Pounds sterling or roughly $22,000 when they auctioned at Christie’s in London.
In one letter, dated January 10, 1954, Dean talks about rehearsals for a Broadway adaptation of The Immortalist. In that correspondence, Dean shared that he felt like he wasn’t very good at acting.
But in that letter, which was sent from St. James Hotel in Philadelphia and is illustrated with sketches of buildings. Dean also predicted that the play would likely be a ‘monster success’.
Another letter sent on May 7, 1954, was penned a month into filming his first leading role in East of Eden.
In the third letter, Dean jokingly suggested that he and Barbara’s relationship might be over as he revealed to her that he hadn’t written her recently because he had fallen in love. But he went on to explain that he was merely referring to his beloved horse ‘Cisco the Kid’.
In the letters, Dean expressed how homesick he was feeling. At one point he thanked Barbara for writing the ‘nicest, sweetest letters in the world’. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the James Dean’s Secret Love Letters Revealed Tragic Details.
Keith Gordon says that his mother never discussed their romance in much detail. But that he did know Jimmy was her first, serious romance. According to him, their relationship was fraught with drama involving numerous break-ups and reconciliations. But even during their ‘off-again’ times, she remained Deans close confidant.
The auction is set to take place on November 23, 2021. And the lots also include a number of photographs of James Dean and Barbara Glenn.
Some Think That Dean’s Female Relationships Were Just A Cover
Aside from his well-documented relationship with Barbara Glenn, James Dean also famously dated Liz Sheridan, the actress who later portrayed Jerry’s mom on Seinfeld. But despite his many female relationships and liaisons. Some speculate that Dean used his romances and flings with the opposite sex as a cover to hide his real sexual preferences.
Some believe that he was a textbook bisexual and there just might be some evidence to back that theory. Dean once stated that although he didn’t consider himself to be a homosexual. He didn’t want to limit himself by going through life ‘with one hand tied behind’ his back. Others have gone a step beyond this hypothesis by saying that he was in fact gay and merely used his relations with women to hide the fact that he was really interested in other men.
Honestly though, does it even matter? Who cares what he did in the privacy of his own bedroom or what kinds of thoughts and desires he had. That’s really not any of our business and in today’s world, it doesn’t even matter all that much.
But whether he was interested in men or women, one thing is fairly obvious. Dean used his sexuality to get ahead in life. Despite the fact that he had two fake teeth and was reportedly pretty rude, women and men threw themselves at him. He had his kind of charismatic magnetism that few could resist.
Some of Deans lovers included names like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, and Judy Garland. He even reportedly once had a bit of a fling with Marlon Brando, whom he obsessed with and idolized.
Because of his swift rise to fame coupled with his many high-profile romances. Many have speculated that James Dean essentially slept his way to the top.
Alright, well, we’re just about out of time for this video, but hopefully, you’ve enjoyed taking this little journey with us. It kind of feels wrong to snoop through someone’s private love letters even though both lovers have deceased for so many years. It almost feels like perusing through someone’s journal or something. But even so, it’s fascinating to get the chance to peer into James Dean’s mind at the peak of his acting career just months before his untimely death. Join Facts Verse to learn more about the James Dean’s Secret Love Letters Revealed Tragic Details.
Anyway, now’s your turn to let your voice heard. Do you think Keith Gordon should be selling his mother’s love letters or do you think that he should have listened to her deathbed request and kept them? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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