Published: Tue, September 19, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Beloved character actor Harry Dean Stanton dead

Beloved character actor Harry Dean Stanton dead

Harry Dean Stanton, the craggy-faced character actor who for decades filled memorable and often eccentric roles including a prisoner in "Cool Hand Luke" and the creepy polygamist prophet on "Big Love", has died at age 91.

Stanton gave a colorful tone with winds of loneliness to numerous characters he performed, with which he created a unique attachment with the public.

A versatile utility player who could be plugged into nearly any scene and give it instant authenticity, heart and humor, Stanton was sought-after for supporting roles until the very last days of his life.

Stanton, who early in his career used the name Dean Stanton to avoid confusion with another actor, grew up in West Irvine, Kentucky, and said he began singing when he was a year old.

"After Jack said that, my whole approach to acting opened up", Stanton told Entertainment Weekly. Stanton was one of his favourite actors.

And in a career spanning 60 years, he appeared in films including "Alien", "The Godfather Part Two", and "Paris, Texas". "Martin Scorsese, John Huston, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock". Lynch said in a statement.

"We lost a legend today with the passing of Harry Dean Stanton", the tweet said. There went a great one. According to the director, he was extremely pleased that such an actor had accepted to work with him. He used to perform with his band "The Harry Dean Stanton Band", formerly known as "Harry Dean Stanton & the Repo Men", also collaborating with a lot of big-league artists - including Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby, and Kris Kristofferson. "Loads of love to wherever you are now!"

Stanton appeared in Lynch's 1990 movie Wild at Heart and in 1992's Twin Peaks: A Fire Walk With Me, although he was not in the original Twin Peaks series that aired from 1990 to 1991 on ABC. "Goodbye, Harry Dean. Rest in peace", wrote director John Carpenter, whose "Christine" and "Escape From New York" featured Stanton in supporting roles. It was just the beginning of a run in the 1980s when Stanton would take more prominent roles in some staple films of the 1980s. "You were great", Stephen King wrote.

"Baby Driver" helmer Edgar Wright also shared a still of Stanton from "Repo Man" with the caption, "RIP to the legendary Harry Dean Stanton".

However, the role that's been lauded as his big breakthrough came in 1984 when he played amnesiac Travis Henderson in "Paris, Texas" - the same year he starred in the cult classic "Repo Man". "Repo Man" became an independent cult film favorite with Stanton as a comically grizzled and paranoid vehicle repossession expert trying to pass on his dubious code of ethics to his apprentice.

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