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On This Day… Rebel With A Pepsi!

Written by: George Chittenden : 18 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 13th December, back in 1950 when James Dean first appeared on our TV screens! The undiscovered actor played a fun-loving teenager in an early Pepsi commercial. The future Hollywood heartthrob whacked a player piano, prompting it to magically play a dance tune.

The Pepsi commercial was James Dean’s first acting job, earning him $30 for laughing, banging on the piano, and sipping soda. The advert was enough to catch the eye of folks casting a show called Hill Number One, landing him the part of John the Baptist. More Hollywood roles followed, eventually leading to roles in the films East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause.

A scene from the advert

A scene from the advert

Sadly, James Dean died in a motor vehicle accident when he was only twenty-four years old. He became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only actor in history to have had two posthumous acting nominations.

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