Mineo was born in The Bronx, the son of Sicilian coffin makers. His mother enrolled him in dancing and acting school at an early age.3 He had his first stage appearance in The Rose Tattoo (1951),2 a play by Tennessee Williams. He also played the young prince opposite Yul Brynner in the stage musical The King and I. Brynner took the opportunity to help a young Mineo better himself as an actor.
After film and television appearances, his breakthrough was Rebel Without A Cause, in which he played John “Plato” Crawford, the sensitive teenager smitten with Jim Stark (played by James Dean). His performance resulted in an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, and his popularity quickly developed.Mineo’s biographer, Paul Jeffers, recounted that Mineo received thousands of letters from young female fans, was mobbed by them at public appearances and further wrote, “He dated the most beautiful women in Hollywood and… read more