Iconic Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies At The Age Of 91

Ruben Ruiz
September 17, 2017

Stanton passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and this was confirmed by his agent John S. Kelly.

Harry Dean Stanton, the grizzled character actor who for more than 60 years was a mainstay of American independent films, has died aged 91.

Harry Dean Stanton also played small parts in movies like Cool Hand Luke and In the Heat of the Night, the former giving him a chance to show his singing chops with the gospel song "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", the latter role being an uncredited one as a police officer. "Loads of love to you wherever you are now!" A hero to stars like Jack Nicholson, Kris Kristofferson, and Rob Lowe, Stanton made his name as an oddball or a loser character actor in more than 200 movies, including cult favourites like Two-Lane Blacktop, Cisco Pike, and Pretty in Pink, in which he portrayed the father of leading lady Molly Ringwald's character. Stanton is best known for his role as the polygamist leader in HBO's Big Love and as Andy's out-of-work father in Pretty in Pink.

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

Since 2011, the Kentucky city of Lexington each year has hosted a Harry Dean Stanton Festival. Two years later, director Alfred Hitchcock cast him in a bit part as a Department of Corrections employee in The Wrong Man. He was also an accomplished musician, performing regularly with The Harry Dean Stanton Band. Stanton, born in 1926 in Virginia, served in the Navy during WWII and fought in the Battle of Okinawa. "I thought if I could be an actor, I could do all of it", the Twin Peaks actor said during one of his interviews for the documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Crossing Mulholland.

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"There's nobody like Harry Dean", Lynch said in a statement. I told him I wanted to play something of some beauty or sensitivity.

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. That's Stanton, in his first lead role - at age 58.

The personality fit into the visions of a diverse array of some of the 20th century's most creative directors, including Francis Ford Coppola, Wim Wenders, John Hughes, Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam and David Lynch.

Actor Shawn Doyle, who acted with Stanton in "Big Love", tweeted a tribute to the actor.

According to TMZ, Stanton never married, but he is survived by some family members.

Other reports by GizPress

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