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Both characters are angst-ridden protagonists and misunderstood outcasts, desperately craving approval from their fathers.
In recognition of his performance in East of Eden, Dean was nominated posthumously for the 1956 Academy Awards as Best Actor in a Leading Role of 1955, the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history.
The most famous improvisation of the film occurs when Cal's father rejects his gift of ,000, money Cal earned by speculating in beans before the US became involved in World War I.
Instead of running away from his father as the script called for, Dean instinctively turned to Massey and in a gesture of extreme emotion, lunged forward and grabbed him in a full embrace, crying.
Dean worked at the widely filmed Iverson Movie Ranch in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles during production of the program, for which a replica of the tomb of Jesus was built on location at the ranch.
In contrast to the book, the film script focused on the last portion of the story, predominantly with the character of Cal.
He is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark.
The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956).
, a boxing cornerman in Sailor Beware, In October 1951, following the encouragement of actor James Whitmore and the advice of his mentor Rogers Brackett, Dean moved to New York City.
There, he worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat the Clock, but was subsequently fired for allegedly performing the tasks too quickly.