James Dean was the iconic rebel without a cause. The James Dean Estate, on the other hand, has been driven by a cause -- maximizing the value of his image and likeness. But was it taken too far when his heirs sued Twitter?
This is installment #16 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts. See other articles in the series here.
Perhaps no Hollywood legend has lasted so long, and left such an impact, as James Dean. After dying in a tragic car crash at age 24, in 1955, Dean continued to appear among the top of highest earning deceased celebrities year after year, including being in the top ten as recently as 2012, when his estate earned about five million dollars. Not bad for actor who only starred in three major films.