Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1955 James Dean and Ursula Andress on a Date

One month after these pictures were taken, James Dean was dead at the age of 24. He had made three memorable films - "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant."  Only one - "East of Eden" - had been released while he was alive. When he met Ursula Andress in 1955, she was just 19, and was dating Marlon Brando.

 The occasion captured in these pictures was the Thalian Ball, Aug. 29, at Ciro's nightclub, Los Angeles. "The Thalians" - named after the Greek goddess of comedy - were a group of young actors tired of the negative media portrayal of Hollywood film-stars.  The group included Nicky Blair, Bill Brown Jr., Milton Cohen, Gary Crosby, Kim Dibbs, Bill & Nori Gold, Jack Haley Jr., Mac Krim, Hugh O' Brian, Bob Petersen and Margaret Whiting. Their inaugural meeting was at Jayne Mansfield's Pink Palace, in Beverly Hills in May 1955.

 Eight years later, Ursula Andress strode out of the surf as shell-diver Honey Rider wearing an iconic white bikini, in the first James Bond film, "Dr No." She would later appear in movies with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

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