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Arts and Entertainment

Harry Dean Stanton Dies At 91

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Iconic actor Harry Dean Stanton has died at 91. His agent told the Hollywood Reporter that Stanton died Friday afternoon of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Known for his roles in Paris, Texas, Repo Man, Alien, Cool Hand Luke, and The Godfather Part II, Stanton was, as the L.A. Times wrote in 1986, "the classic character actor—the face you remember, the voice that catches your ear, the creator of small cinematic gems." His on-screen powers were so legendary that Roger Ebert once claimed that no movie featuring Stanton in a supporting role could ever "be altogether bad."

Born in Kentucky in 1926, Stanton served in the navy during World War II, working as a ship's cook. He began acting in college, while studying journalism. "I acted in Pygmalion with a Cockney accent. I knew right then what I wanted to do, so I quit college and went to the Pasadena Playhouse in 1949," Stanton told the Guardian in 2013. Stanton was also a notable musician (he initially made his living as a singer) and long played a regular gig at The Mint with a Tex-Mex band. When he served as guest host on Saturday Night Live in 1986, Stanton "belted out a blues number with the house band" instead of delivering the traditional opening monologue.

Wim Wenders' 1984 classic, Paris, Texas, is often identified as his breakout role, but Stanton had already been in roughly a hundred films by then, according to the Guardian.

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Most recently, he reprised his role as Carl Rodd in David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return, and starred in Lucky, which premiered at South by Southwest earlier this year. Lucky will be released by Magnolia on September 29.

David Lynch shared a statement on Stanton's passing on Friday afternoon: