John Austin - February 2006 Review
"The Eyes, Ears and Voice of Hollywood" (Since 1968)

DI DEAN HAS laid it all out in her true life non-fiction book (interlaced with some fiction in order to protect the names of certain people that are part of her amazing story). As a child -- she was always hidden. Whether or not you believe she is the true daughter of short lived screen idol, James Dean, is completely up to each and every reader. From what we know of Hollywood history, she undoubtedly is.

Di Dean had to endure so many lies about her background, she has let it all hang out in this book. In Hollywood Lit she has accomplished her mission . This tortuous journey blends her own memories about finding out the truth from her adopted "pop" long after her mother had died. Her "Pop" was on his own death bed and finally blew apart the lie upon lie she had been "fed" for many, many years to cover up the fact that Dean was, in all probability, her biological father.

(When reading a book of this nature about Hollywood, per se, it should be kept in mind in the mid-1950's Hollywood was still living with a "Morality Code" established in the early 1930's, by Will H. Hays, the first "Czar" of Hollywood morals. It was, therefore, forbidden to let out, announce, hint, or even start a rumor of such stories as children due to be born "out of wedlock" to Hollywood stars of note, or otherwise, into the steady stream of press material which poured out of Hollywood every day. Accredited Hollywood entertainment journalists would never print anything of such a nature that they might have been told by their sources, nor would newspaper editors of the day print such material in fear of losing lucrative movie advertising. They, and journalists, knew they would be "disenfranchised" by the industry, so to speak, if they did. Today, of course anything goes!)

Before writing the book, Dean wandered around for months in pain and self torture - and very ashamed because what she already knew was looking right at her from the mirror. As she stood there, she writes, it was obvious she could not ignore the fact that she shared many characteristics with her biological father. She had blonde hair, blue-green eyes and very bad near sightedness. During the period she went from 119 to 92 pounds on her 5'8" frame. She drove at high and dangerous speeds because it was the only release from the sorrow she had lived.

To help herself understand and cope with this question mark of her life, she researched the history of James Dean and wrote this non-fiction-cum fiction account with some of the names changed in the love story of how her mother and James Dean met. She then mixed this love story with her own information from her "Pop" on his deathbed, and her own reactions to learning all that she thought to be true was a lie. Today, she still weighs in at 92 pounds.

This is a strange but exceedingly interesting and poignant story about another "child of Hollywood" who could never be told who her real father was until her adopted father admitted the truth - to a point - on his death bed. She has her own website at

HOLLYWOOD 'LIT' , By Di Dean, Outskirts Press, ISBN 1-59800-119-1. , $19.95
The Red Star