LOS ANGELES – Corey Allen, an actor-turned Emmy Award-winning director who earned a slice of film immortality in the 1950s playing the doomed high school gang leader who challenges James Dean to a “chicken run” in “Rebel Without a Cause,” has died. He was 75.

Allen died at his home in Hollywood on Sunday, two days before his 76th birthday, said family spokesman Mickey Cottrell.

The specific cause was not given.

Allen had Parkinson’s disease for the past two decades, Cottrell said, but he remained active directing plays until a few years ago.

Allen’s death came a month after that of another “Rebel” alumnus, Dennis Hopper, who played one of the high school gang members.

A 1954 graduate of the UCLA theater department, where he won a best actor award, Allen had a few TV credits and un-credited bit parts in movies when he was cast as the arrogant, leather jacket-wearing Buzz Gunderson in “Rebel Without a Cause.”

The 1955 film, directed by Nicholas Ray, starred Dean as Jim Stark, the troubled new kid at school who is menaced by Buzz and his pals.

A knife fight between Dean and Allen’s characters at the Griffith Park Observatory ends with the “chicken run” challenge: to drive two stolen cars toward the edge of a seaside bluff at high speed, and the first one to jump out of his car before it sails over the edge is a “chicken.”

Rebel Without a Cause” was the high point of Allen’s screen-acting career.

Allen, who was born June 29, 1934 in Cleveland, went on to appear in films such as “Darby’s Rangers,” “Juvenile Jungle,” “Party Girl,” “Sweet Bird of Youth” and “The Chapman Report.”

He also made guest appearances on TV series such as “Perry Mason,” “Bonanza” and “Dr. Kildare.”

Allen was heavily involved in theater in Los Angeles.