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Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton

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Also Known As: Dean Stanton, Harry Stanton, H. D. Stanton, Dean Stanton Died:
Born: July 14, 1926 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: West Irvine, Kentucky, USA Profession: actor, musician, tobacco harvester

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prolific supporting player for over five decades, Harry Dean Stanton inspired film critic Roger Ebert to declare, "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Of course, there were a few misfires along the way, but most were redeemed by the actor's strength for playing haggard men with battered souls. Stanton was well-liked and utilized by some of modern cinema's most visionary directors including Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn and Wim Wenders. It was Wenders who launched Stanton's late career breakout when he cast him in an acclaimed leading role in "Paris, Texas" (1984), but prior to that quietly haunting performance, Stanton spent 25 years playing hard-bitten outlaws in notable films like "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" (1973) and "The Rose" (1979). Stanton was transformed into a wizened cult figure of the American indie film scene with "Repo Man" (1984), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), and "She's So Lovely" (1996) - to say nothing of his fatherly turn in "Pretty in Pink" (1986) and his unforgettable role as one of the doomed Nostromo crew of "Alien" (1979). A restless,...

A prolific supporting player for over five decades, Harry Dean Stanton inspired film critic Roger Ebert to declare, "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Of course, there were a few misfires along the way, but most were redeemed by the actor's strength for playing haggard men with battered souls. Stanton was well-liked and utilized by some of modern cinema's most visionary directors including Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn and Wim Wenders. It was Wenders who launched Stanton's late career breakout when he cast him in an acclaimed leading role in "Paris, Texas" (1984), but prior to that quietly haunting performance, Stanton spent 25 years playing hard-bitten outlaws in notable films like "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" (1973) and "The Rose" (1979). Stanton was transformed into a wizened cult figure of the American indie film scene with "Repo Man" (1984), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), and "She's So Lovely" (1996) - to say nothing of his fatherly turn in "Pretty in Pink" (1986) and his unforgettable role as one of the doomed Nostromo crew of "Alien" (1979). A restless, unconventional spirit off-camera, Stanton always lent a sympathetic realness to the menacing criminals and barroom-dwelling outsiders he stashed beneath his craggy face and wiry, worn frame.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Last Stand, The (2013)
3.
4.
 Avengers, The (2012)
5.
 Rango (2011)
6.
 Open Road, The (2009)
7.
 Good Life, The (2007)
8.
 Alpha Dog (2006)
9.
 Alien Autopsy (2006)
10.
 Inland Empire (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Kentucky
:
Served in the Navy during WWII
:
Decided to pursue acting career after starring in college production of "Pygmalion"
:
Moved to Pasadena, CA, to study acting
:
Joined the American Male Chorus
:
Moved to New York; joined Strawbridge Children's Theatre
1957:
Moved to Hollywood and made screen debut in "Tomahawk Trail"
1958:
Played villain opposite Alan Ladd in "The Proud Rebel"
1966:
Made unsold CBS pilot
:
Roomed with Jack Nicholson in the late 1960s
1967:
Played a convict who sings gospel tunes to Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke"
1974:
Cast in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather, Part II," as an FBI agent protecting Michael V. Gazzo
1979:
Made TV-movie debut in "Flatbed Annie & Sweetpie: Lady Truckers" (CBS)
1979:
Cast in Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller "Alien"
1984:
Landed first screen lead in Wim Wenders directed "Paris, Texas"
1984:
Cast in the quirky cult film "Repo Man," by indie director Alex Cox
1986:
Played Molly Ringwald's father in "Pretty in Pink"
1988:
Played Saul (Paul) in "The Last Temptation of Christ"
1990:
Played a soft-hearted, but ill-fated private investigator in David Lynch's "Wild at Heart"
1992:
Starred in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me"
1996:
Co-starred in ABC miniseries "Larry McMurtry's 'Dead Man's Walk'"
1998:
Appeared in the feature adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for Terry Gilliam
1999:
Cast in "The Green Mile" for director Frank Darabont
2001:
Played opposite Jack Nicholson in "The Pledge" for director Sean Penn
2005:
Appeared in "The Wendell Baker Story" for Andrew and Luke Wilson
2006:
Cast as Roman Grant, the prophet of the Juniper Creek compound on HBO drama series "Big Love"
2006:
Reteamed with director David Lynch to star in "Inland Empire"
2009:
Played the Caterpillar in SyFy fantasy miniseries "Alice"
2011:
Voiced Balthazar in Gore Verbinski's animated feature "Rango"
2012:
Made cameo in superhero blockbuster "The Avengers"
2012:
Cast in ensemble crime comedy "Seven Psychopaths"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Lafayette High School: -
University of Kentucky: Lexington , Kentucky -
Pasadena Playhouse: Pasadena , California -

Notes

"After all these years, I finally got the part I wanted to play. If I never did another film after 'Paris, Texas' I'd be happy." --Harry Dean Stanton in press kit for "Dream a Little Dream"

"I think younger actors have it better today. I think that, traditionally, actors have been second class citizens on a lot of levels. However, since the breakup of the major studios, things have started loosening up ... today's young actors have more freedom." --Harry Dean Stanton

"I made it a point not to graduate [from college]. I thought that was a positive, independent kind of statement. I never liked being ordered around--which, of course, was an overreaction. I eventually found out that I didn't mind being ordered around at all when it was by someone who knew what he was doing." --Harry Dean Stanton in a 1986 interview in The New York Times Magazine.

"I sure wish I had matured earlier. There was such a long period in my life when I was struggling to bloom, and, as a result, I did a lot of stupid things ... To put it mildly, I was just a very late bloomer. It was Eastern mysticism that began to help me. Alan Watt's books on Zen Buddhism were a very strong influence. Taoism and Lao-tse, I read much of, along with the works of Krishnamurti. And I studied tai chi, the martial arts which is about centering oneself." --Harry Dean Stanton in a 1986 interview in The New York Times Magazine.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Rebecca De Mornay. Has a brother.
companion:
Rebecca De Mornay. Actor. Had a brief romance.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sheridan Harry Stanton. Tobacco farmer, barber. Parents divorced when Stanton was in high school; remarried.
father:
Sheridan Harry Stanton. Survived her.
mother:
Ersel Stanton. Hairdresser. Parents divorced when Stanton was in high school; remarried.
mother:
Ersel Stanton. After divorce from Leisen's father, moved to St Louis, Missouri; remarried.
brother:
Ralph Stanton. Younger.
brother:
Ralph Stanton. Had one; survived him.
brother:
Archie Stanton. Younger.
brother:
Archie Stanton. Brewer. Partner in Leisen and Hennes Brewing Company; divorced from Leisen's mother c. 1899.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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