James Dean (1976 film)

James Dean (also known as James Dean: Portrait of a Friend) is a 1976 NBC television film about actor James Dean and starring Stephen McHattie in the title role.[1][2][3][4]

James Dean
Directed byRobert Butler
Written byWilliam Bast
StarringStephen McHattie
Michael Brandon
Brooke Adams
Candy Clark
Amy Irving
Katherine Helmond
Meg Foster
Dane Clark
Jayne Meadows
Heather Menzies
Music byBilly Goldenberg
Release date
CountryUnited States

The role of screenwriter William Bast, Dean's best friend, is played by Michael Brandon. In this sensitive portrayal, based on the 1956 biography by Bast[5], he recounts the early acting career and meteoric rise of his roommate and pal. The film paints a clear picture of James Dean's relentless drive for authenticity, depth and artistic meaning, claiming his inspiration as an actor crystallized around what he learned from the classic tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.


  1. ^ Colker, David (May 10, 2015). "William Bast dies at 84; screenwriter co-created 'The Colbys'". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Shales, Tom (August 5, 2001). "The Incredible Sulk: TNT's 'James Dean'". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ Gray, Tim (September 30, 2015). "James Dean: After 60 Years, Still the Coolest Icon of Teen Angst". Variety.
  4. ^ ""James Dean" World Premiere!". TV Guide. February 14, 1976.
  5. ^ Dagan, Carmel (May 7, 2015). "William Bast, Writer for TV Who Penned James Dean Bios, Dies at 84,". Variety.

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