Harry Dean Stanton, star of the big and small screen, died peacefully at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, September 15.
In his lengthy career, Harry Dean Stanton was unknown. While his acting jobs were fairly steady, Stanton didn’t receive true recognition until age 58. That was how old Stanton was when he was cast in the movies, ‘Paris, Texas’ , his first starring role, and ‘Repo Man’ opposite Emilio Estevez. His most memorable roles of late included playing one of the doomed astronauts with Sigourney Weaver in the sci-fi horror film, ‘Alien’; the beleaguered father in ‘Pretty in Pink’ with Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer; and the head of the polygamy sect in HBO’s ‘Big Love’ with Bill Paxton (d. February 25, 2017).
Director David Lynch once said of Stanton, “As a person, Harry Dean is just so beautiful. He’s got this easygoing nature. It’s so great just to sit beside Harry Dean and observe. He’s got a great inner peace. As a musician, he can sing so beautifully tears just flow out of your eyes. And as an actor, I think all actors will agree, no one gives a more honest, natural, truer performance than Harry Dean Stanton.” The two worked together on Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’, ‘Wild at Heart’ and ‘The Straight Story.’ Most recently, Stanton reprised his role of Carl Rodd, the cranky trailer park owner in Lynch’s Showtime small screen version of ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’.
Stanton was born July 14, 1926 and grew up in West Irvine, Kentucky. He was the oldest brother of, Archie and Ralph, and half-brother, Stan. Stanton attended the University of a Kentucky, where he studied journalism and radio arts. He honed his acting chops performing in regional theater under the director, Wallace Briggs while in college. It was Briggs who encouraged him to leave school and move to California to pursue acting. Harry was always involved with music. He started singing at age 1. He also played guitar and harmonica and got to perform a song in “Paris, Texas”.
Harry Dean lived in a small house overlooking the San Fernando Valley And was often spotted out in West Hollywood. He never married, although he was once in a lengthy relationship with actress Rebecca de Mornay, and never had any children. Stanton is survived by family members, no further information is available.
~Written by Rhonda
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