Hollywood stars and creators have taken to social media to offer an outpouring of love and respect for the late Harry Dean Stanton. The legendary character actor who appeared in 200 films and TV shows passed away Friday at the age of 91. His final film Lucky is set to be released on September 29th, 2017.
Known for his distinctive forlorn face and soulful eyes, Stanton began with bit parts in numerous TV series of the '50s and '60s before making the jump to feature films. He became a fixture in Westerns and low-budget films, developing into a scene-stealing presence alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando and Kris Kristofferson. Stanton occasionally got to flash his musical talent on-screen as well, most memorably in Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman. Stanton would later become a favorite of director David Lynch, appearing in several of his films and making one of his last appearances as the haunted Carl Rodd, proprietor of the Fat Trout Trailer Park in Twin Peaks.
News of Stanton's passing has elicited an outpouring of respect and love on social media from people who worked with the legendary actor or simply witnessed his work.
Rest In Peace, Harry Dean Stanton pic.twitter.com/NciVEUWtox
— 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) September 15, 2017
— Twin Peaks (@SHO_TwinPeaks) September 15, 2017
Harry Dean Stanton was brilliant and cooler than anyone. RIP pic.twitter.com/Lti2w6FI1F
— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) September 15, 2017
There's legends and there's quiet achievers - Harry Dean Stanton was both. You just know his stories were better than anyone else's. #RIPHDS
— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) September 15, 2017
Harry Dean Stanton was the definition of cool. On Alpha Dog, he wouldn't leave a room w/o saying, "Love ya. Mean it." Such a great guy. RIP
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) September 15, 2017
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) September 15, 2017
Harry Dean you gave us so much truth on and off camera Thank you for living a full life! You are a great artist https://t.co/lNtfSO79Ue
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) September 15, 2017
RIP to the legendary Harry Dean Stanton. Impossible to cover his legacy in brief but here's a few favs: 'Alien', 'Paris Texas', 'Repo Man'. pic.twitter.com/tKglu0Bemv
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 15, 2017
Stanton's appearance as the ever-complaining handyman Brett in Ridley Scott's Alien won him a place in geek culture history. In 1984, Alex Cox cast Stanton as Bud in his cult classic Repo Man. Stanton received his first-ever lead role in 1984 in Wim Wenders and Sam Shepard's Paris, Texas, playing Travis a lost man who wanders out of the desert and tries to piece back together his life. Red Dawn saw Stanton cast as the father of anti-Communist Colorado teen guerrillas Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. John Hughes cast Stanton as Molly Ringwald's father in the romantic-comedy Pretty in Pink.
A versatile utility player who could be plugged into almost any scene and give it instant authenticity, heart and humor, Stanton was sought-after for supporting roles until the very last days of his life. In 2012, he joined the MCU with the tiny but memorable part of a security guard in The Avengers. Stanton began his career on classic TV shows like The Fugitive, The Untouchables and Bonanza, and in his nineties was still playing the same kinds of bit parts in movies and TV shows watched by the grand-children of the folks who first saw him perform and became aware of his presence.
Stanton was one of the rare true character performers who became recognizable enough to be a star in his own right. In 2012, filmmaker Sophie Huber made a memorable documentary about Stanton called Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction highlighting the actor's remarkable career via clips, interviews with Stanton's collaborators and footage of Stanton reluctantly talking about himself.
Source: Various (see Twitter links)