The origins of Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse.
Dire Wolf writes: "Geriatric heads know that the saying is from an old Bogart film, not the hells angels. "
The saying “Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse!” is often wrongly attributed to actor James Dean.
Dean didn’t actually say it — at least not in his movies.
If you’re a classic movie buff, you may know that “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!” is actually a famous line said by actor John Derek in the film Knock On Any Door, which premiered on February 21, 1949 and was released nationwide the next day.
It was the first major film role for Derek, who later married and guided the early film career of Bo Derek.
He plays Nick Romano, a young Italian hoodlum from the Chicago slums who is accused of killing a cop. Humphrey Bogart plays his attorney, Andrew Morton.
In the film, Nick tells his girlfriend that “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!” is his motto in life.
Quotation expert Ralph Keyes speculates in his book The Quote Verifier that Motley may have been “recycling street talk” when he wrote the line “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse.”
Some extensive online searching and found uses and variations of the phrase “live fast and die young” dating back to the early 1900s.
Live fast, die young, and leave a flat patch of fur on the highway - the Squirrels' Motto (The Hell's Angels of Nature)