'Rebel Without a Cause' Actress Beverly Long Dies at 81

Courtesy Everett Collection
Long (right) in a scene from “Rebel Without a Cause.”

She played Helen in the 1955 James Dean drama and later had a lead role in the 1958 film "The Green-Eyed Blonde."

Beverly Long, one of the last surviving castmembers of the James Dean classic Rebel Without a Cause, died May 8 in Los Angeles after a short hospital stay. She was 81.

Long also had a leading role as Ouisie in the 1957 film The Green-Eyed Blonde, appeared in Paramount's As Young as We Are (1958) and was seen on Robert Young's CBS sitcom Father Knows Best.

The longtime resident of Studio City in recent years served as a casting director.

Long played Helen, a friend of Judy (Natalie Wood) and one of the gang, in the 1955 Warner Bros. drama directed by Nicholas Ray.

In the 2005 book Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel, Long described working with Dean.

"In the mornings, you never knew whether he was going to speak to you," she said. "That made you extremely wary, because one morning you would say, 'Good morning, Jim,' and he would look through you as though you didn't exist.

"On another morning, you would not say hello, and he would say, 'Well, good morning,' like his feelings were hurt, and then he would give out with that mischievous grin and giggle. You never could win."

Frank Mazzola, who played Crunch, and Jack Grinnage (Moose) are believed to be the last surviving Rebel castmembers.

A celebration of Long's life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4