Born actor Harry Dean Stanton dies at 91


Harry Dean Stanton, an instantly recognisable character actor whose career spanned seven decades, died of natural causes in Los Angeles today. In recent years Stanton played the polygamist patriarch in HBO's Big Love, voiced a role in Depp's animated feature, Rango, and reunited with his frequent collaborator David Lynch, playing Carl Rodd in the revival of Twin Peaks.

Stanton worked, over 60 years, for some of most renowned directors of Hollywood like Francis Ford Coppola in The Godfar:Part II; Wim Wenders in Paris, Texas; Sam Peckinpah in Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid; Martin Scorsese in The last temptation of Christ, and Ridley Scott in Alien.

Stanton, who has died at the age of 91, played roles in film greats such as Alien, The Green Mile, Cool Hand Luke and The Godfather. The actor was also shown on the small screen. Occasionally you would hear Stanton sing; music was his other love - he sang and played harmonica onstage and off.

Never mistaken for a leading man, Stanton was an unforgettable presence to moviegoers, fellow actors and directors, who recognized that his quirky characterizations could lift even the most ordinary script. Roger Ebert once observed that no movie with Stanton in a supporting role "can be altogether bad".

The star's final performance will be in Lucky, which is set to air later this month.

Stars have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late Harry Dean Stanton.

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"Harry is a walking contradiction", Sophie Huber, who directed the 2012 documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, said in a 2013 interview with The Guardian.

Stanton's first broadcast appearance was in 1954 on an episode of the NBC show "Inner Sanctum". "Well, I realized early on that if I became an actor, I could play a writer and a sculptor and a painter and be all the things you just don't have time to be in your lifetime".

Our thoughts are with Harry's friends and family during this hard time.

"Harry Dean Stanton was a wonderful man, kind and full of humor".

Aside from acting, he was in the Navy during World War II and fought in the Battle of Okinawa. Harry Dean Stanton. My heart is broken, but at 91...a life well lived", while Mark Hamill wrote: "'Sad to say goodbye to the incomparable Harry Dean Stanton- so profoundly authentic in every role he inhabited'.