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James Dean’s posthumous Oscar nomination

James Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Oscar nomination for best actor following his role in EAST OF EDEN (1955). Dean died in an auto accident driving his new Porsche 550 Spider on September 30, 1955 near Paso Robles, CA. The following year, incredibly, Dean received a second Academy Award nomination for GIANT (1956). He was on his way to compete in an auto race to be held in Salinas with Rolf Wutherich, an auto mechanic, when the crash occurred. The inquest ruled the accident was Dean’s fault. He was the only one who did not survive it. Right before impact, Wutherich had cautioned Dean to slow down. Evidently Dean’s last words were, “That guy’s gotta stop…he’ll see us.”