I know there are many rumors about James Dean being gay, but this book by actress Liz Sheridan claims she and Dean lived together in New York City before he hit it big:


Liz Sheridan was the actress who played Jerry Seinfeld's mother on his hit show 'Seinfeld'.

I have no indication whether these have been withheld or whether they were destroyed after his death along with the rest of his papers that his father and friends felt could compromise his reputation.
We've had a discussion on'ere about papers being destroyed after the deaths of prominent people.
Queen Victoria's diaries, including accounts of her many pregnancies, were destroyed according to her wishes.

As @asparagus mentioned a while back, Franz Kafka's papers were due to be destroyed after his death but his heir Max Brod kept it all. The world is a better place thanks to Max.
I know there are many rumors about James Dean being gay, but this book by actress Liz Sheridan claims she and Dean lived together in New York City before he hit it big:

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Liz Sheridan was the actress who played Jerry Seinfeld's mother on his hit show 'Seinfeld'.

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Liz Sheridan & James Dean (apparently).

maximus otter
That'll teach me to trust Interclown captions...

maximus otter
I was searching for a photo of Sheridan and Dean together, and that photo kept coming up, that and Dean with Pier Angeli -
Couldn't find one with Sheridan.
But their relationship was in the time before he became famous, so I'm assuming that's why no photos of them together -
I want to read her book though, she probably has photos of them in the book.
She did pass away in 2022.
An interesting auction.

The largest ever auction of James Dean’s legal, business, and personal documents from the estate of his agent, Jane Deacy, closed last night (May 25) with mixed results.

A few high-profile items sold for high prices, notably Dean’s East of Eden contract, which went for $23,000, his handwritten letters, which sold for $11,000 each, and an autographed photo, which brought $15,000 (prices include the 25% buyer’s premium). Many of the lots, however, sold close to the minimum bid, and a large number, including many items autographed by Dean, did not sell at all. (They are currently for sale in a post-auction clearance at the minimum bid price.) ...

Just finished this book, it was a lovely romance, Liz Sheridan met Jimmy Dean when he was 21 years old and new in New York City, she was 23 and a professional dancer and he was going on acting auditions.
She describes Dean as extremely shy and awkward and sweet, just a nerdy kid who got lucky getting the attention of casting directors and got a part in a play, and then his career took off, which ended their romance.
But there are no photos of the two of them together in her book, surprisingly. She did give names of those who were aware of their romance though.
I think Dean was just so different from anyone else that he stood out, and he had talent.

I know there are many rumors about James Dean being gay, but this book by actress Liz Sheridan claims she and Dean lived together in New York City before he hit it big:

View attachment 66106

Liz Sheridan was the actress who played Jerry Seinfeld's mother on his hit show 'Seinfeld'.

View attachment 66108
He could have been bisexual. A lot of people assume that there's only gay and straight, whilst plenty of people swing around somewhere in the middle. Even Freddie Mercury had a girlfriend before he got famous.
More horseplay.

Last week, I came across a newly released YouTube video of horse trainer Monty Roberts claiming that he had been like “brothers” with James Dean during the four months they shared a house in the spring of 1954.

Roberts made the claims during a 2015 interview, which had not been made public until last week, and I had only a vague recollection of the name from reading Joe Hyams’s biography of Dean several years ago. I tried to look up more about this unusual claim, which seems at odds with everything I know about the period in question, and that’s when I stumbled down an unpleasant rabbit hole that fell somewhere between a conspiracy of silence and outright promotion of an improbable claim.

Marvin “Monty” Roberts was 19 years old in 1954 when he and his future wife Pat shot a couple of bit parts for East of Eden near their homes in Salinas, California. They can be seen very briefly in the film, and there is one set photograph where Roberts can be seen in proximity to James Dean during some location shooting. Roberts provided some horses for use in the movie. That much is beyond dispute. The rest of the story, however, is another matter.

As late as 1988, Monty Roberts had not made any public mention of any sort of friendship with James Dean, as far as I can tell. In a 1988 newspaper article telling his life story, he merely mentioned that he had been in East of Eden with his then-girlfriend. “The couple also had parts in the now classic movie, East of Eden, starring James Dean,” the Lompoc Record reported on November 27, in a lengthy profile. (Roberts and his wife married in 1956, according to Roberts.)

From Jason Colavito's e-Newsletter • Vol. 23 • Issue 2 • July 9, 2023 •

Meanwhile, a literary agent contacted me unsolicited with an offer to represent my book because he said publishers were looking for a James Dean book in advance of the 2025 70th anniversary of Dean’s death. However, he attached a condition—because he said publishers aren’t interested in queer themes, believing no audience will read about them, I would need to basically trash the book I wrote and write what they want, a celebratory review of Dean’s influence on pop culture, including fashion and movies. My feeling is that he described a completely separate book with no connection to what I wrote, substituting the posthumous cartoon character for the real person.
Uncovering the source for Anger's gossip about Dean

The late filmmaker Kenneth Anger’s reference in Hollywood Babylon (French ed. 1959, English trans. 1965), his scandalous (and scandalously inaccurate) collection of celebrity gossip, to James Dean’s alleged penchant for sadomasochistic sex has been extremely influential in shaping perceptions of Dean over the past six decades. However, no source for Anger’s claims has ever come to light, leading many to conclude that Anger fabricated the allegation from whole cloth. However, I think I found the most plausible point of origin for Anger’s allegations.

Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylone, First French J.J. Pauvert Paperback Edition (1959)
Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylone (1959)
In Hollywood Babylon, Anger wrote about men who enjoyed S&M and would

“dig” sex assorted with beatings, boots, belts and bondage, like James Dean—spiced with knowing cigarette burns (which gave Jimmy his underground nickname: The Human Ashtray) . . . (ellipses in original)
From this brief allusion, Venable Hernon, a later Dean biographer, searched New York S&M clubs in the 1970s for evidence of Dean’s BDSM activities and heard from aging patrons that Dean had engaged in public fist-fucking and other extreme acts—a chronological impossibility, given that anthropologists believe fisting wasn’t invented until the 1960s and wasn’t popularized among gay men until the 1970s. Anger later drew on Herndon and other 1970s Dean biographies to expand his salacious profile of James Dean for 1984’s Hollywood Babylon II, but as that information is entirely derivative, we can ignore it.

Dean biographer David Dalton wrote that Anger, who was gay and had a crush on Dean, had “created” the story from a “rumor” and quoted Dean’s friend and onetime lover Bill Bast on what he considered the origin of the story:

When Disney ducked the issue.

When James Dean Was Too Queer for Disney​

A documentary producer alleged the House of Mouse refused to be the first to mention Dean's sexuality--decades after it was common knowledge.​


This week, a rare film archive uploaded a long-forgotten 1995 Disney Channel documentary, James Dean: A Portrait, a hagiographic biography of Dean produced by Gary Legon from a script by Legon and Dean biographer David Dalton, narrated by Rip Torn. The documentary, which aired on the fortieth anniversary of Dean’s death, is no great shakes—it’s almost uncomfortably worshipful, with some rather striking omissions and fabrications to suit the heroic narrative Legon wanted to create. But what struck me was something that Disney didn’t intend for you to know.
The uploaded copy wasn’t the original Sept. 30, 1995 Disney Channel broadcast but a May 15, 1996 Australian Broadcasting Corporation rebroadcast on the Wednesday World documentary series. The ABC produced a wraparound for the documentary featuring one of their hosts discussing the film. The Australian host offered a rather shocking confession from the producer about Disney’s meddling to suppress discussion of James Dean’s sexuality, for a truly absurd reason:

Some people have thought that this portrait of James Dean was a little coy about some aspects of his private life, in particular his sexuality. When I put this to the producer-director Gary Legon, he said, “Most of these stories are untrue and full of exaggeration. The one, though, which appears to be true would be the affair he had with a New York advertising executive who helped his career along when he was a starving actor looking for a break.” Gary Legon also told me there had been a point in the production when they were going to touch on Dean’s sexuality, and the Disney company, who were the broadcasters in the U.S., were initially OK about this. However, they eventually changed their minds in the light of the fact that, in all the other bios on Dean, the subject was never mentioned.
n 1995, this was simply untrue. David Dalton’s own James Dean: The Mutant King from 1975 had mentioned it, if only to deny most of it. Royston Ellis in 1961, Venable Herndon in 1974, and Ronald Martinetti in 1975 had all centered their biographies around the “shock” of discovering Dean had had sex with men, particularly onetime advertising executive Rogers Brackett. The American Broadcasting Company hosted a televised Wide World Special debating it in 1974. (I know: How bizarre!) Kenneth Anger had made wild accusations about gay S&M sex in 1959 and again in 1984 in his two Hollywood Babylon books, and more than a year before the release of James Dean: A Portrait, Paul Alexander published Boulevard of Broken Dreams, his factually dubious but nonetheless analytically accurate 1994 account of the role homosexuality played in shaping James Dean.

I was taken aback to find someone actually admitting to corporate interference to suppress discussion of Dean’s sexuality, something that was long rumored and could be inferred from the fingerprints left behind. My feeling is that the change in the documentary partway through is another echo of the impact of Boulevard of Broken Dreams. As I have previously discussed, the book’s massive—and negative—news coverage in 1994 appears to have led to the collapse of what Warner Bros. had planned to be a prestigious Oscar-baiting James Dean biopic. The project’s failure was later blamed on an inability to find the right actor, or a director, but at the time the producer was angrily explaining why he would not include any queer “innuendo and rumor” in his film. News reports at the time wrote of how top actors worried that playing Dean would cause them to be seen as gay.

Colavito's James Dean book has a publisher.

I am delighted to announce that I have partnered with Applause Books to publish my biography of James Dean next year.

I am deeply appreciative of the tireless work of my agent, Lee Sobel, in helping to find my book the best possible home, and for the support and enthusiasm of my editor at Applause, Chris Chappell. Publication of the book is the culmination of a years-long journey that began when I happened upon Rebel without a Cause on Turner Classic Movies one day during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and involved the largest and most comprehensive literature and archival research into James Dean’s life and legacy ever conducted. I am so thankful to have found a team that believes in my book and my work and wants to help me share with the world a story that needs to be told.

You may think there is nothing left to say about James Dean, but drawing on more than four hundred previously secret pages of Dean’s personal and business records, this book will serve as a necessary and essential correction to seven decades of literature grounded in the homophobia and toxic masculinity of twentieth-century society. A modern, twenty-first century approach, informed by contemporary ideas about sexual diversity transforms our understanding James Dean’s story, and his impact on America. ...

Dean may not have been homosexual at all, but simply was compliant with those who could help him get into acting.
Very common in Hollywood, for both men and women.
The never ending mysteries continue.

Was Werner Muensterburger Really "James Dean's Analyst"?​

A passing reference in a 2013 biography gave the German-born psychoanalyst a new moniker, but the truth is less clear.​


This past weekend, my local library held its annual book sale in which it disposes of unwanted books from its collection. This year, they liquidated their James Dean collection, so I picked up some of the few books I did not have in physical copy for a dollar apiece. One was a book I didn’t pay much attention to when writing my own because of its skimpy bibliography and narrow focus on Dean’s death. (I won’t embarrass the author by naming the book.) However, in skimming through it, I came across a claim I had not previously encountered. The author wrote that a certain Werner Muensterburger claimed to have been James Dean’s psychoanalyst. This was quite surprising.

For many years, Dean’s therapy was more or less a rumor known only from friends’ contradictory claims about whether it had occurred. In 1992, gossip writer and Dean biographer Joe Hyams reported on bills from Beverly Hills analyst Dr. Carl Van Der Heide for sessions held with Dean, along with a letter in which Van Der Heide discusses Dean continuing his therapy with a New York therapist. Earlier this year, the collection of documents from Dean’s talent agent that were made public for the first time included a bill from a New York therapist, Dr. Bela Mittleman, as well as letters to and from Dean discussing his desire to seek therapy, which he began in late summer/early fall 1954 and continued into the summer of 1955. All these documents are internally consistent and tell the same story.

Muensterburger’s claims did not seem to fit into what was otherwise a coherent narrative. But due to the aforementioned skimpy bibliography, I learned nothing more from the book, so I was forced to do some research to explore the claim. ...