Harry Dean Stanton, who has almost 200 acting credits to his name, with films like Alien and TV shows like Twin Peaks, passed away at the age of 91 yesterday. It hasn't been announced if there will be a public memorial service or if the remembrance will be a private affair.
Variety reports that the actor passed away from natural causes earlier today in Los Angeles. One of the actor's final films, Lucky, where he plays an atheist who comes to terms with his own mortality, will be released via Magnolia Pictures on September 29. He also has another film in post-production entitled Frank and Ava, where he stars alongside Eric Roberts and Lukas Haas. No release date has been handed out at this time.
Harry Dean Stanton was born July 14, 1926 in West Irvine, Kentucky to Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and a tobacco farmer, and Ersol, a cook. Harry first followed in his mother's footsteps, becoming a cook for the U.S. Army during World War II and he was aboard an LST ship during the infamous Battle of Okinawa. After the war, the late actor returned to the University of Kentucky, where he starred in a production of Pygmalion. He moved out to California to study acting at the esteemed Pasadena Playhouse. He landed his first movie role in 1957's Tomahawk Trail, which lead to a slew of minor roles like cowboys and soldiers throughout the 1960s.
The actor would go on to have memorable roles in classics like Cool Hand Luke, Kelly's Heroes, Dillinger, The Godfather: Part II, Alien and Escape From New York, but he wasn't landing any leading roles quite yet. That all changed when director Wim Wenders discovered his work and cast him in his first lead role ever, Paris, Texas, at 58 years of age. Later that year, he also had a leading role in Alex Cox's Repo Man, which really took his career to a new level. He would move on to land bigger roles in films like Pretty in Pink, Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, playing Carl Rodd, a role he reprised in the Showtime Twin Peaks Revival this year. He also had a memorable cameo in Avengers to become an official member of the Marvel Movie Universe.
Stanton is also an accomplished musician, taking the lead of the "The Harry Dean Stanton Band," who have been together for several years, playing a unique flavor of mariachi music. The band went on tour all across the country for several years. Fans may also recognize him from more recent roles in films like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Green Mile, Alpha Dog, Rango, Seven Psychopaths and Sick of it All. The actor never married, but he is survived by, according to the actor himself, "one or two children," although not much is known about his kids.