WB ordered to pay Dean kin

Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor.

The award was handed down yesterday to cover partial legal costs in the lengthy suit.

There are still more costs to be accounted for, which attorneys for the Dean family will file for in the next month.

The studio had filed a $ 90 million suit in 1991, claiming that it was the rightful owner of Dean’s likeness and image because of a clause in a contract that the actor had signed in 1954 prior to the filming of “East of Eden.”

The clause, located in a standard contract, allowed the studio to use Dean’s likeness and image in perpetuity for commercial tie-ins to the film.

While the studio claimed that the clause also carried over to the use of merchandising unrelated to the film, a U.S. District Court judge had ruled that it only related to the selling and advertising of the three films he starred in before his death.

The other two films were “Giant” and “Rebel Without a Cause.”

The Dean image is estimated to have generated some $ 30 million since 1984.

At the time Warners filed suit, Curtis Management did not file a counterclaim. Yesterday, the company’s president, Mark Roesler, declined to comment on whether there were plans to pursue a future suit for damages.

More TV

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler

    'Walking Dead' Recap: Tide of War Turns in Midseason Finale (SPOILERS)

    Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor. The award was handed down yesterday to […]

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor to Interview French President Emmanuel Macron on 'CBS Evening News'

    Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor. The award was handed down yesterday to […]

  • SUITS -- "Full Disclosure" Episode 707

    Dubai: USA Network's Legal Drama 'Suits' Set For Arabic Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor. The award was handed down yesterday to […]

  • Vanessa Kirby

    'The Crown' Star Vanessa Kirby on the 'Privilege' of Playing Princess Margaret

    Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor. The award was handed down yesterday to […]

  • Jessica Jones Emmy Race

    'Marvel's Jessica Jones' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date

    Warner Bros. has been ordered to pay $ 1.6 million to the family of James Dean and their agent, Curtis Management Group, related to a suit the studio had lost (Daily Variety, July 17, 1992) over the merchandising rights to the name and likeness of the late actor. The award was handed down yesterday to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content