Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

Harry Dean Stanton dead: Legendary character actor dies at 91

Harry Dean Stanton dead: Legendary character actor dies at 91

They roomed together in the '60s and costarred in several works, including Ride in the Whirlwind (1966), Man Trouble (1992) and Anger Management (2003).

Big Love writer Dustin Lance Black posted a photograph of the series' lead actor Bill Paxton and Stanton on Twitter, writing alongside it: "The most anxious I've ever been on set was the morning before working with #HarryDeanStanton".

The legendary character actor who appeared in 200 films and TV shows passed away Friday at the age of 91.

His final film is the soon to be released "Lucky.' Stanton, who appeared recently in David Lynch's reboot of television's 'Twin Peaks", died on Friday from natural causes at Cedars Sinai hospital, his agent said. Fittingly his final film, Lucky, serves as a tribute to the actor and features his longtime fried and Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart, and The Straight Story director David Lynch, who presented Stanton with the inaugural Harry Dean Stanton Award at the Los Angeles Vidiots prizegiving past year (16).

"Everyone loved him. And with good reason", Lynch said. "He was a great actor (actually beyond great) - and a great human being - so great to be around him!", Lynch said, the Hollywood Reporter tweeted. Ultimately, Stanton decided it was "too much work" to be a leading man. "If I never did another film after this, I'd be happy".

"Paris, Texas" stars Stanton as a wanderer with amnesia who finds and reconnects with his family.

The film's promotional account tweeted about the death of the film's star. In 1984, Alex Cox cast Stanton as Bud in his cult classic Repo Man. He became a fixture in Westerns and low-budget films, developing into a scene-stealing presence alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando and Kris Kristofferson.

His first movie roles came in the mid-1950s: an uncredited part in "The Wrong Man" and turns in "Tomahawk Trail" and "The Proud Rebel" as Dean Stanton.

While fringe roles and films were a specialty, he also ended up in the work of numerous 20th century's master auteurs, even Alfred Hitchcock in the director's serial TV show.

"'Paris, Texas' allowed me to play empathy", Stanton told a questioner, "and I'm spelling that with a capital C". "Martin Scorsese, John Huston, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock". He was also an accomplished musician, performing regularly with The Harry Dean Stanton Band.

Stanton also sang on the film's Ry Cooder soundtrack, performing a haunting Mexicali waltz, "Cancion Mixteca", in Spanish.

Afterward, he utilized music as an escape from his folks' quarreling and the occasionally severe treatment he was subjected to by his dad.

"After all these years, I finally got the part I wanted to play", Stanton once said.

Born in Kentucky in 1926, Harry Dean Stanton served in the US Navy during World War II and afterwards moved to California to try for an acting career.

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