I was very young in 1955, when Warner Brothers did Rebel without a Cause – 18 or 19 years old. We’d started shooting in black and white, and two weeks into it Jack clearly saw that something was going on with James Dean. He said, ‘Change this picture to colour. The kid’s going to be a star.’ He’d found his new Rin Tin Tin.
Then one day, the next year, Jimmy Dean and I were coming out of the commissary on the Warner Brothers set, and Jack Warner came up to introduce the banker Serge Semenenko to Jimmy: Semenenko put out his hand to shake hands, and Jimmy reached into his pocket, threw a bunch of coins at their feet, and walked off. They looked completely stunned. I followed Jimmy like a puppy dog and said: ‘What the hell was that all about?’ So he told me that Jack had convinced [his brother] Harry that they should sell the studio, and they sold it to Semenenko; then, the day after, Jack bought back in. All he had really done was to buy his brother out. So that was Jimmy Dean’s reply to what Jack had done.