The movie community lost a legend with the announcement that actor Harry Dean Stanton has passed away at the age of 91. Although he was never honored by mainstream institutions like the Academy Awards, Stanton was well known to directors and lovers of film alike as a one-of-a-kind force on unforgettable projects throughout his illustrious career.
Harry Dean Stanton was born in Kentucky in 1926. He moved to California and began racking up acting credits in the mid 50s. He career began to explode in the mid 70s with a variety of high profile projects. His body of work includes collaborations with directors John Carpenter, David Lynch, Sam Peckinpah, and Ridley Scott. Film lovers know him for his roles in mainstream projects like Paris, Texas and the television series, Big Love. Horror fans know him for his unforgettable performances in Alien, Escape from New York, and Repo Man.
Watching Stanton perform in any of these incredible roles is a pure treat for viewers. His characters exude a certain edginess that always seems to defy his age, generation, and appearance. His characters are cool underdogs who viewers can identify with. On the infamous Nostromo, viewers may not identify with the science officers and pilots, but Brett’s funny quips and rugged demeanor can make you feel right at home. Stanton’s dry humor and deadpan, matter of fact delivery are always just the right qualities to draw a viewer into a film. His final performances may be viewed in the Twin Peaks revival and the upcoming film, Frank and Ava.
Stanton was not married and does not have any children. May he rest in peace, and may he remain in the thoughts and hearts of film lovers around the world.