Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tribute: Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017)

Today, America has lost one of its greatest actors: Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017).  

The star of such films as Paris, Texas (1984), Repo Man (1984), and the TV series Big Love (2006-2011), is beloved, in particular, by sci-fi/horror fans for his turn as Brett in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979).

Stanton had a long and distinguished career; one stretching back to the mid-1950's.  

In terms of genre work, he was a frequent guest star on TV programs, and is remembered for roles in Inner Sanctum (1954), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960), The Wild, Wild West (1967), and Fairie Tale Theatre (1987).

Mr. Stanton's career in movies was even bigger. 

In addition to playing Brett in Alien, he starred as Brain in John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981), and had roles in several David Lynch films, including Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), and Inland Empire (2006). He also had supporting roles in Red Dawn (1984), and The Green Mile (1999).

Outside the genre, Stanton is remembered for Paris, Texas, a role in Cool Hand Luke (1967), and many other great films.  All these films and TV programs are a reminder of Stanton's versatility, and effectiveness as an actor.  He always seemed absolutely "real," whether in a futuristic setting, an absurdist one, or in a grounded drama.

Mr. Stanton will be missed, but he leaves behind a catalog of work that is astounding in its breadth and depth.

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