Picks and Pans Review: Dizzy & Jimmy

My Life with James Dean

by Liz Sheridan

James Dean—American movie icon, self-destructing rebel and…lover of Seinfeld’s mother? Bizarre, but nearly 50 years ago Liz Sheridan, Helen Seinfeld on the TV series, had a romance with impoverished 20-year-old actor James Dean. As Sheridan details in this gooey memoir about their yearlong New York affair, Dean—the personification of tortured angst in other bios—was relatively unneurotic, even puppy-doggish (he and Sheridan liked to lick each other’s faces). Riddled with romance novel clichés, the book gushes, “He loosened my hair gently. He was breathing heavily and I was trembling.” Alas, Dean confesses to a fling with Rogers Brackett, a “well-connected old queen.” While Brackett, according to previous bios, was not Dean’s only male lover, Sheridan says, “I don’t believe that Jimmy was gay in his heart.” (ReganBooks, $23)

Bottom line: Too much ado about too little

Related Articles