We lost Harry Dean Stanton yesterday, at the age of 91. The quirky character actor had been around forever, it seemed at times, and he remained active till the end, appearing in the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and also alongside the director in the film Lucky. In the clip above, from 2014, the actor talks about his career on TheLipTV.
Born in Kentucky, Harry Dean Stanton learned to act, write as a journalist and sing in his early years. He served as a Navy cook during World War II, including the Battle of Okinawa. In the 1950s, he started appearing on television and in movies, making his feature debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man (1957). Stanton built his career as a character actor in small parts throughout the 1960s and ’70s, appearing in movies like In the Heat of the Night (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Kelly’s Heroes (1970) and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973). The movie I’ll always think of when I hear the name Harry Dean Stanton though is Alien (1979) and the terrific scene he has together with the monster. Check out the clip above.
In 1984, Stanton got the leading part in Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas, which earned him good reviews and became a breakthrough. It’s a shame though that Stanton rarely got meatier roles. There were exceptions over the years, such as Lynch’s movies, the sci-fi comedy Repo Man (1984) and the TV series Big Love (2006-2011).
He will certainly be missed in Hollywood. Here’s how an actor, director and a writer honored him on Twitter yesterday:
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) September 15, 2017
Harry Dean Stanton was a wonderful man, kind and full of humor. He was also a great actor. Goodbye, Harry Dean. Rest in peace.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) September 15, 2017
Harry Dean Stanton had the best line in CHRISTINE: “I’m selling’ this shithole and buyin’ a condo.” Rest in peace, HD. You were great.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 15, 2017
Well, Stephen King made a mistake, as he acknowledged later on Twitter. Stanton didn’t say that in the movie, Roberts Blossom did. But that’s alright.