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Section of James Dean high school collapses

INDIANAPOLIS – Part of the eastern Indiana high school where James Dean was first exposed to acting has collapsed.

Fairmount clerk-treasurer Jo Ann Treon says the southeast corner of the shuttered Fairmount High School gave way about 3 a.m. Wednesday in the town about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis. She says there are concerns that another section of the 115-year-old building could collapse next.

Dean grew up on a farm near Fairmount and performed at the school in plays that fueled his interest in acting. After graduating in 1949, he headed to California and then New York, before landing iconic roles in the films “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant” and “East of Eden.”

The actor achieved posthumous stardom after his 1955 death at age 24 in a California car crash.

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