BACKSTORY: Kenneth Kendall (Nov. 27, 1921—Sept. 3, 2006) was a painter and sculptor who specialized in portraiture. He also did some work as an extra in the movies back in the day. Through a chance meeting of James Dean before his death, the rest of his life he became known as an artist who spent tireless hours immortalizing the actor in both bronze and canvas. Dean had noticed the bust that Kendall had sculpted of Marlon Brando and wanted one created in his own likeness. The two met a few times and Dean had a lifemask set aside for Kendall to aid him in the task. Shortly after, Dean tragically died in an automobile accident; Dean's family gave the lifemask to Kendall who created the bust seen below in the first photo. He also had a close friendship with Mr. America/bodybuilder/actor Steve Reeves, who was a frequent subject for Kenneth. Every year, Kendall would host a birthday party in honor of James Dean, attended by a wide variety of guests, including Kendall's close friend Maila Nurmi, best known as TV show hostess, Vampira.
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