There, he worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat the Clock, but was subsequently fired for allegedly performing the tasks too quickly.He also appeared in episodes of several CBS television series The Web, Studio One, and Lux Video Theatre, before gaining admission to the legendary Actors Studio to study method acting under Lee Strasberg.One early role, for the CBS series Omnibus in the episode "Glory in the Flower", saw Dean portraying the type of disaffected youth he would later portray in Rebel Without a Cause.
Though he initially seems more aloof and emotionally troubled than his twin brother Aron, Cal is soon seen to be more worldly, business savvy, and even sagacious than their pious and constantly disapproving father (played by Raymond Massey) who seeks to invent a vegetable refrigeration process.
Cal is bothered by the mystery of their supposedly dead mother, and discovers she is still alive and a brothel-keeping 'madam'; the part was played by actress Jo Van Fleet.
The lengthy novel deals with the story of the Trask and Hamilton families over the course of three generations, focusing especially on the lives of the latter two generations in Salinas Valley, California, from the mid-19th century through the 1910s.
In contrast to the book, the film script focused on the last portion of the story, predominantly with the character of Cal.
Dean subsequently obtained three walk-on roles in movies: as a soldier in Fixed Bayonets!