Character star Harry Dean Stanton dies at age 91


Jae C. Hong/ AP In this Sept. 9, 2006, file photo, star Harry Dean Stanton performs at the 35th anniversary event of the founding of Greenpeace, in Los Angeles.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017|4:06 p.m.

LOS ANGELES– Harry Dean Stanton, the shambling, craggy-face character star with the deadpan voice who became a cult favorite through his memorable turns in “Paris, Texas,”” Repo Male” and lots of other films and TELEVISION programs, died Friday at

age 91. Stanton passed away of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his agent, John S. Kelly, informed The Associated Press. Kelly provided no additional information on the cause.

Never ever incorrect for a leading guy, Stanton was a memorable presence to spectators, fellow stars and directors, who acknowledged that his quirky characterizations could raise even the most ordinary script. Roger Ebert when observed that no movie with Stanton in a supporting role “can be completely bad.”

He was extensively loved around Hollywood, a drinker and cigarette smoker and straight talker with a million stories who palled around with Jack Nicholson and Kris Kristofferson to name a few and was a hero to such more youthful stars and brothers-in-partying as Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez. “I do not act like their daddy, I act like their friend,” he once told New york city publication.

Nicholson so liked Stanton’s name that he would discover a method to work his initials, HDS, into a video camera shot.

Almost always cast as a crook, a codger, an eccentric or a loser, he appeared in more than 200 motion pictures and TV shows in a profession dating to the mid-1950s. A cult-favorite since the ’70s with roles in “Cockfighter,” “Two-Lane Blacktop” and “Cisco Pike,” his more well-known credits ranged from the Oscar-winning impressive “The Godfather Part II” to the sci-fi traditional “Alien” to the teen flick “Pretty in Pink,” in which he played Molly Ringwald’s father. He likewise guest starred on such TELEVISION shows as “Laverne & & Shirley,”” Adam-12 “and” Gunsmoke.” He had a cameo on “Two and a Half Men,” which featured “Pretty in Pink” star Jon Cryer, and appeared in such films as “The Avengers” and “The Last Stand.”

While fringe roles and films were a specialized, he also ended up in the work of many of the 20th century’s master auteurs, even Alfred Hitchcock in the director’s serial TELEVISION show.

“I worked with the best directors,” Stanton told the AP in a 2013 interview, provided while chain-smoking in pajamas and a robe. “Martin Scorsese, John Huston, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock. Alfred Hitchcock was terrific.”

He stated he might have been a director himself but “it was too much work.”

Fitting for a character actor, he just ended up being well-known in late midlife. In Wim Wenders’ 1984 rural drama “Paris, Texas,” he earned honor for his subtle and impacting representation of a male so deeply haunted by something in his past that he deserts his young boy and society to wander silently in the desert.

Wiry and sad, Stanton’s near-wordless efficiency is laced with moments of humor and poignancy. His heartbreakingly stoic delivery of a monologue of repentance to his wife, played by Nastassja Kinski, through a one-way mirror has ended up being the specifying moment in his profession, in a role he said was his favorite.

“‘Paris, Texas’ provided me an opportunity to play empathy,” Stanton informed an interviewer, “and I’m spelling that with a capital C.”

The film won the grand prize at the Cannes Movie Celebration and provided the actor with his very first star billing, at age 58.

“Repo Male,” launched that exact same year, ended up being another signature film: Stanton starred as the world-weary employer of a vehicle foreclosure company who instructs Estevez in the techniques of the hazardous trade.

His legend would only grow. By his mid-80s, the Lexington Film League in his native Kentucky had actually founded the Harry Dean Stanton Fest and filmmaker Sophie Huber had made the documentary “Harry Dean Stanton: Partially Fiction,” that included commentary from Wenders, Sam Shepard and Kristofferson.

More just recently he reunited with director David Lynch on Showtime’s “Twin Peaks: The Return” where he repeated his role as the cranky trailer park owner Carl from “Fire Stroll With Me.” He also stars with Lynch in the upcoming film “Lucky,” the directorial launching of actor John Carroll Lynch, which has been referred to as a love letter to Stanton’s life and profession.

Last year, Lynch provided Stanton with the “Harry Dean Stanton Award”– the inaugural award from the Los Angeles video store Vidiots provided initially to its namesake.

“As an individual, Harry Dean is so lovely. He’s got this relaxed nature. It’s so great just to sit next to Harry Dean and observe,” Lynch stated at the program. “He’s got a great inner peace. As an artist, he can sing so magnificently tears simply flow out of your eyes. And as an actor, I believe all actors will agree, no one provides a more sincere, natural, truer performance than Harry Dean Stanton.”

Lynch likewise directed Stanton in “Wild at Heart” and “The Straight Story.”

Stanton, who early in his profession utilized the name Dean Stanton to avoid confusion with another actor, grew up in West Irvine, Kentucky and said he began singing when he was a year old.

Later on, he utilized music as an escape from his parents’ quarreling and the sometimes harsh treatment he was subjected to by his father. As an adult, he fronted his own band for many years, playing western, Mexican, rock and pop requirements in small places around Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. He also sang and played guitar and harmonica in unscripted sessions with friends, carried out a tune in “Paris, Texas” and once taped a duet with Bob Dylan.

Stanton, who never lost his Kentucky accent, stated his interest in films was stimulated as a kid when he would walk out of every theater “believing I was Humphrey Bogart.”

After Navy service in the Pacific during World War II, he invested three years at the University of Kentucky and appeared in a number of plays. Figured out to make it in Hollywood, he selected tobacco to earn his fare west.

3 years at the Pasadena Play house prepared him for television and movies.

For decades Stanton resided in a small, disheveled house neglecting the San Fernando Valley, and was a fixture at the West Hollywood landmark Dan Tana’s. He was attacked in his house in 1996 by two robbers who required their method, tied him up at gunpoint, beat him, raided your home and got away in his Lexus. He was not seriously injure, and the 2, who were caught, were sentenced to jail.

Stanton never married, although he had a long relationship with starlet Rebecca De Mornay, 35 years his junior. “She left me for Tom Cruise,” Stanton stated often.

“I may have had two or 3 (kids) from marriage,” he once remembered. “However that’s another story.”

Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo and Andrew Dalton added to this report from Los Angeles. The late AP Entertainment Author Bob Thomas also contributed.

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