Prolific character actor, who appeared in ratings of movies including Paris, Texas, Alien, Repo Man and The Straight Story, died in an LA hospital on Friday
Harry Dean Stanton, the veteran American actor who ballasted generations of independent and cult films, has died aged 91. The topic of the late critic Roger Ebert’s” Stanton Walsh Rule”-” No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad”- Stanton was famed for his ability to project his hangdog, laconic charm into minor roles, which ensured he worked endlessly for over six decades. Directors who cast him include David Lynch, Sam Peckinpah, Ridley Scott, Alex Cox and Wim Wenders, but he was never nominated for an Oscar or any of the other principal acting awards.
Stanton was born in 1926 in rural Kentucky, the son of a tobacco farmer. After serving as a navy cook in the Pacific theatre during the second world war, he analyzed journalism at college before dropping out to attend acting class at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1949. Stanton had ambitions to be a writer and a musician as well as relevant actors, but, as he told the Observer in 2013, he “surrendered” to acting.
In the ensuing two decades, Stanton procured a string of tiny roles in Tv presents and low-budget cinemas, including The Escapade of Rin Tin Tin, Gunsmoke and Johnny Ringo. One of his more memorable appearances in this period was as a singing convict in the 1967 Paul Newman vehicle, Cool Hand Luke, in which he performed the gospel ballad Just a Closer Walk with Thee.