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Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies After 6-Decade Career

17 September 2017
Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies After 6-Decade Career

Author Stephen King paid condolences, and tweeted: "Harry Dean Stanton had the best line in "Christine": "I'm selling" this shithole and buyin' a condo'".

Indispensible character actor Harry Dean Stanton died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Friday, his agent John Kelly confirmed to THR. And he was a World War II veteran, reportedly serving in the U.S. Navy during the Battle of Okinawa.

Three years at the Pasadena Playhouse set him up for TV and motion pictures.

Most recently, Stanton appeared on the revival of Twin Peaks this past summer. He first big-screen gig was the 1957 Western Tomahawk Trail and would work steadily after that for the next 60 years. But it was the 1970s that brought him an influx of film roles and took him away from television for almost the entire decade.

He had also had small roles in the hit films "The Godfather: Part II", "Alien", and "Red Dawn".

Stanton's star rose among film fans to the point that Roger Ebert once said famously, "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad". His father, Sheridan Harry Stanton, was a tobacco farmer and barber. That's Stanton, in his first lead role - at age 58.

The Kentucky-born star had a career which spanned more than six decades, appearing in dozens of films, including 1984's Paris, Texas and Repo Man. Lynch also cast him in "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me", "The Straight Story" and "Twin Peaks". In 2006, Stanton took a prominent TV role on the HBO drama "Big Love", playing the megalomaniacal leader of a polygamous sect.

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.

The long face, inexpressive and morose of this actor was one of his traits more noticeable. Stanton joked that roles most successful Hopper had been declined by him (Blue Velvet and Hoosiers).

Stanton amassed almost 200 acting credits, according to the Internet Movie Database. "He has this pride in appearing to not have to work hard to be good", says Sophie Huber, who directed a 2012 documentary about Stanton.