Harry Dean Stanton 1926-2017

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We’ve got some unfortunate news to report this weekend as Hollywood has lost one of its all time great character actors. Harry Dean Stanton, best known for his roles in Alien, Big Love, Repo Man and Paris, Texas reportedly died of natural causes in Los Angeles yesterday. This comes just weeks after the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks wrapped up, which found him reprising his role as trailer park owner Carl Rodds. His impressive career spanned six decades and included over 100 film credits. He was 91 years old.

After serving as a cook in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Stanton got his acting start on TV in the 1950s and 60s, appearing on such shows as Gunsmoke and Rawhide. Throughout the ’70s he started to appear in movies with parts in Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter, Farewell, My Lovely and Straight Time. His role as Brett in Alien led to even higher profile appearances in movies like Escape from New York, Christine, Repo Man and eventually his first lead role in Wim Wenders’ acclaimed Paris, Texas in 1984.

Also in the ’80s, Harry Dean Stanton played Molly Ringwald’s father in Pretty in Pink and in the early ’90s he worked with David Lynch on Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. He had a memorable role in Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile and in the mid-2000s he had a recurring role on HBO’s Big Love as cult leader Roman Grant. He was even in the subject of his own documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. His final films will be the John Carroll Lynch film Lucky, which hits select theatres next month, and Frank and Ava, a movie about Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner’s relationship. What are your favourite Harry Dean Stanton performances?

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  • Indianamcclain

    Uh oh. John Carpenter put out an R.I.P tweet for Harry Dean Stanton. Jay must be losing his mind.