Actor Harry Dean Stanton died Friday afternoon of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, 91 old. He was known for starring in films as Paris, Texas and Repo Man, “Alien” or “Big Love,” Cool Hand Luke, Two-Lane Blacktop, Escape From New York, or Pretty in Pink .
Always he created memorable characters. Stanton was also an elegant musical performer with an angelic tenor voice. He sang and played rhythm guitar and harmonica in a Tex-Mex band that did weekly gigs at The Mint in Los Angeles. Stanton also sang on the film’s Ry Cooder soundtrack, performing a haunting Mexicali waltz, “Cancion Mixteca,” in Spanish. With his hangdog, morose visage and faced etched with crevices, Stanton was known for playing characters of innate sadness or darkness.
Actor Harry Dean Stanton
“Stanton has long inhabited the darker corners of American noir, with his lean face and hungry eyes, and here he creates a sad poetry,” film critic Rorger Herbert described him in 2002. Harry Dean Stanton was born on July 14, 1926. His father was a farmer and a barber, his mother a hairdresser. He served in the Navy as a cook on an ammunitions ship in the Pacific during World War II and he even was in the Battle of Okinawa. After enrolled at the University of Kentucky to study journalism and radio arts. For his native talent the American actor was hired by such famed directors as Francis Ford Coppola (1974’s The Godfather: Part II), John Huston (1979’s Wise Blood), Robert Altman (1985’s Fool for Love), Martin Scorsese (1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ), John Frankenheimer (1990’s The Fourth War) and Frank Darabont (1999’s The Green Mile).