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Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean StantonBorn: 14-Jul-1926
Birthplace: West Irvine, KY
Died: 15-Sep-2017
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Cremated (ashes scattered)

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Bathrobe-clad actor from Repo Man

Military service: US Navy (WWII)

Craggy-faced character actor Harry Dean Stanton sang in a barber shop quartet in high school, and studied journalism in college. He dropped out after appearing in a college production of Pygmalion. He came to Hollywood, determined to work as an actor, and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse alongside Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall. After numerous bit parts on television, he found his first film work in Tomahawk Trail, a low-budget 1957 western starring Chuck Connors. He had a recurring role on TV's canine western The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin with Joe Sawyer.

He played eight different characters in eight episodes of Gunsmoke with James Arness, and made dozens of guest appearances on other series, but Stanton is best known for his movie work. He played the prisoner who sang gospel songs in Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman, the gay hitchhiker in Two-Lane Blacktop with Warren Oates, an FBI man in The Godfather, Part II with Al Pacino, a horse thief in Missouri Breaks with Marlon Brando, a doomed worker in Alien with Yaphet Kotto, the old friend who doublecrossed Kurt Russell in Escape from New York, a cocaine-driven Repo Man with Emilio Estevez, the dying father who sent his sons to avenge him in Red Dawn with Patrick Swayze, Molly Ringwald's unemployed father in Pretty in Pink, the apostle Paul in The Last Temptation of Christ with Willem Dafoe, an obsessed private eye in David Lynch's Wild at Heart, and lawn-mower-riding Richard Farnsworth's brother in The Straight Story. In a rare but remarkable leading role, he played the man who walked out on his family in Paris, Texas with Nastassja Kinski.

In the late 1960s, he shared an apartment with another struggling actor, Jack Nicholson. They have remained friends, and worked together in six films. Stanton was not in Easy Rider, but he visited the set long enough to scrawl his name in huge letters, clearly visible on the wall of Nicholson's jail cell in that film.

He sang at his friend Hunter S. Thompson's funeral, and he was memorialized in Blondie's 1989 hit "I Want That Man" ("I wanna dance with Harry Dean / Drive through Texas in a black limousine ..."). Stanton says he met Debbie Harry after the song came out, "and oh, we danced". Now in his 80s, he still works frequently in movies, and he plays a stern church elder on HBO's polygamy drama Big Love with Bill Paxton.

He rarely talks publicly about his personal or romantic life. He has never married, but says he has "one or two children". He lives alone in a nice but nondescript house on L.A.'s Mulholland Drive, where his doormat is embroidered, "Welcome UFOs". In 1996, he happened to be home when burglars struck, stealing some pricey electronics and his Lexus, and pistol-whipping Stanton in his bedroom. He says he watches the Game Show Channel a lot, and in his spare time he sings and plays harmonica and guitar with The Harry Dean Stanton Band.

Father: Sheridan Stanton (tobacco farmer)
Mother: Ersel Moberly (cook)
Girlfriend: Rebecca De Mornay (actress, dated 1982-83)

    High School: Lafayette Senior High School, Lexington, KY (1944)
    University: University of Kentucky (dropped out)

    Risk Factors: Smoking

    Big Love 2006-

    Lucky (11-Mar-2017)
    The Last Stand (12-Jan-2013)
    Seven Psychopaths (7-Sep-2012)
    Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (4-Sep-2012) · Himself
    The Avengers (11-Apr-2012)
    This Must Be the Place (20-May-2011)
    Rango (3-Mar-2011) · Balthazar [VOICE]
    Alice (6-Dec-2009)
    The Open Road (7-Feb-2009) · Amon
    Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (13-Oct-2007) · Himself
    The Good Life (20-Jan-2007)
    Inland Empire (6-Sep-2006)
    Alien Autopsy (7-Apr-2006)
    Alpha Dog (27-Jan-2006)
    The Wendell Baker Story (11-Mar-2005) · Skip Summers
    The Big Bounce (29-Jan-2004)
    Chrystal (16-Jan-2004) · Pa Da
    Bukowski: Born into This (18-Jan-2003) · Himself
    Ginostra (13-Sep-2002)
    Sonny (2-Sep-2002) · Henry
    The Pledge (9-Jan-2001) · Floyd Cage
    Sand (27-Nov-2000) · Leo
    The Man Who Cried (2-Sep-2000) · Felix Perlman
    The Green Mile (6-Dec-1999) · Toot-Toot
    The Straight Story (21-May-1999)
    The Mighty (2-Jun-1998) · Grim
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (22-May-1998) · Judge
    Fire Down Below (5-Sep-1997)
    She's So Lovely (15-May-1997) · Tony "Shorty" Russo
    Dead Man's Walk (12-May-1996)
    Down Periscope (1-Mar-1996) · Howard
    Playback (9-Jan-1996)
    Never Talk to Strangers (20-Oct-1995) · Max Cheski
    Blue Tiger (3-Apr-1994)
    Against the Wall (26-Mar-1994)
    Hostages (20-Feb-1993)
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (28-Aug-1992)
    Man Trouble (17-Jul-1992)
    Payoff (2-Mar-1991)
    Wild at Heart (17-Aug-1990) · Johnnie Farragut
    Twister (8-Aug-1990) · Cleveland
    The Fourth War (8-Mar-1990)
    Dream a Little Dream (3-Mar-1989) · Ike Baker
    The Last Temptation of Christ (12-Aug-1988) · Saul
    Mr. North (22-Jul-1988)
    Stars and Bars (18-Mar-1988)
    Slamdance (11-Sep-1987)
    Fool for Love (14-May-1986)
    Pretty in Pink (28-Feb-1986)
    One Magic Christmas (22-Nov-1985)
    UFOria (Oct-1985)
    Paris, Texas (14-Sep-1984) · Travis
    Red Dawn (10-Aug-1984) · Mr. Eckert
    The Bear (10-Jul-1984)
    Repo Man (2-Mar-1984) · Bud
    Christine (9-Dec-1983) · Junkins
    Young Doctors in Love (16-Jul-1982)
    One From the Heart (11-Feb-1982) · Moe
    Escape from New York (10-Jul-1981) · Brain
    Private Benjamin (10-Oct-1980)
    The Oldest Living Graduate (7-Apr-1980) · Mike
    The Black Marble (7-Mar-1980)
    Death Watch (Feb-1980)
    The Rose (7-Nov-1979) · Billy Ray
    Wise Blood (24-Oct-1979) · Asa Hawks
    Alien (25-May-1979) · Brett
    Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers (10-Feb-1979) · C. W. Douglas
    Straight Time (18-Mar-1978) · Jerry Schue
    Renaldo and Clara (25-Jan-1978)
    The Missouri Breaks (19-May-1976) · Calvin
    92 in the Shade (22-Aug-1975) · Carter
    Farewell, My Lovely (8-Aug-1975)
    Rancho Deluxe (14-Mar-1975) · Curt
    Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (2-Feb-1975)
    Win, Place or Steal (Feb-1975)
    The Godfather: Part II (12-Dec-1974)
    Cockfighter (Aug-1974)
    Zandy's Bride (19-May-1974) · Songer
    Where the Lilies Bloom (1974)
    Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (23-May-1973) · Luke
    Dillinger (2-Feb-1973) · Homer Van Meter
    Cry for Me, Billy (Aug-1972)
    Cisco Pike (14-Jan-1972)
    Two-Lane Blacktop (7-Jul-1971)
    Kelly's Heroes (23-Jun-1970) · Willard
    Rebel Rousers (15-Jun-1970)
    The Mini-Skirt Mob (23-Oct-1968) · Spook
    Day of the Evil Gun (1-Mar-1968) · Sgt. Parker
    Cool Hand Luke (1-Nov-1967) · Tramp
    The Hostage (23-Oct-1967)
    A Time for Killing (15-Aug-1967)
    The Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones (25-Dec-1966) · Jelly
    Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)
    A Fistful of Dollars (27-Aug-1964)
    Hero's Island (13-Jul-1962) · Dixey Gates
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (17-Jun-1960) · Slave Catcher
    The Proud Rebel (1-Jul-1958) · Jeb Burleigh

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