Harry Dean Stanton

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West Irvine, Kentucky
Birth Sign
West Irvine, Kentucky

An American actor, singer, and musician by the name of Harry Dean Stanton. He became a well-known actor thanks to his extensive body of work in the entertainment industry, which spans more than six decades. He appeared in well-known movies like “Repo Man,” “Paris, Texas,” “Cool Hand Luke,” and “Lucky” in both starring and character parts. Stanton cherished singing and acting as a journalism and radio arts student at the “University of Kentucky” in Lexington. During the Second World War, he served in the “US Navy” and participated in the Battle of Okinawa while aboard the “USS LST-970.” He was inspired by British theater director Wallace Briggs to pursue an acting career after returning to school, so he started studying at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. His first television appearance was on the anthology series “Inner Sanctum.” His on-screen debut was in the Western movie “Tomahawk Trail.” Then, in the road movie “Paris, Texas,” he received his big break. Stanton has had major playing appearances in the movies “The Green Mile,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Seven Psychopaths.” Additionally, he made cameos in the TV shows “Big Love” and “Twin Peaks.” He performed as a singer and guitarist while touring nightclubs, and he appeared in the music videos of legends like Bob Dylan.

Early Childhood & Life

He was born on July 14, 1926, to cook Ersel (née Moberly) and farmer and barber Sheridan Harry Stanton in West Irvine, Kentucky, United States.

He was a senior in high school when his parents divorced. He had two younger brothers, Ralph and Archie, as well as a younger half-brother, Stan.

The “Lafayette Senior High School,” one of Kentucky’s biggest high schools, was where he attended classes. After that, he went to Lexington’s “University of Kentucky,” where he majored in journalism and radio arts. He had the chance to work with British theater director Wallace Briggs while performing at the “Guignol Theatre” during his time in college.

When Harry was still deciding between singing and acting, Briggs inspired Stanton to leave school and pursue a career in acting. He subsequently enrolled in lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California, where he was a classmate of Tyler MacDuff and Dana Andrews.

He also participated in the Second World War as a member of the “US Navy.” During his employment, he served as a cook on the tank landing ship USS LST-970 during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa.

Career of Harry Dean Stanton

Stanton traveled the US with a men’s choir after developing his acting abilities at the “Pasadena Playhouse.” Before heading back to California, he also worked for a while at a children’s theater.
His first appearance on television was in the 1954 NBC anthology series “Inner Sanctum.” He made an appearance in the “Hour of Darkness” episode.

Before playing “Private Miller” in the 1957 Western film “Tomahawk Trail,” where he was credited as “Dean Stanton,” he appeared in uncredited roles in the films “Revolt at Fort Laramie” (1956) and “The Wrong Man” (1956). In several of his early movies, he went by this screen name to avoid confusion with another actor by the name of Harry Stanton.

He appeared in various character and supporting roles in movies like “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), and “The Godfather Part II” (1974) in the years that followed before going on to lead in movies like “Straight Time” (1978), “Alien” (1979), “Christine” (1983), and “Repo Man” (1984).

He eventually won the favor of eminent filmmakers like Monte Hellman, David Lynch, Sam Peckinpah, and John Milius. Additionally, he grew close to American actors and directors Jack Nicholson and Francis Ford Coppola, who is also an American director, screenwriter, and composer. He served as the “best man” during Nicholson’s 1962 nuptials.

The starring character of “Travis Henderson” in the road movie “Paris, Texas,” directed by Wim Wenders, gave Stanton his real break after working in the industry for almost three decades. Sam Shepard, one of the film’s scriptwriters, noticed him in a New Mexico pub while they were both there for a film festival, and that’s how he got the part.

On May 19, 1984, “Paris, Texas” had its Cannes Film Festival premiere. On November 2, 1984, it was theatrically released in the US. It received numerous honors at Cannes, including the Palme d’Or, the Ecumenical Jury Prize, and the FIPRESCI Prize. Additionally, the film received favorable reviews from reviewers and viewers, and it brought in US$ 2.2 million at the box office.

Following this, Stanton played further leading roles in well-known and financially successful movies of various genres, showcasing his versatility. These movies included, among others, the 1984 American military drama “Red Dawn,” the 1985 American-Canadian fairytale “One Magic Christmas,” the 1986 love story “Pretty in Pink,” and the 1997 action feature “Fire Down Below.”

Stanton played “Toot-Toot” in the 1999 fantasy crime-drama movie “The Green Mile,” which starred Tom Hanks in the title role. The movie received widespread praise from critics and received four “Academy Award” nominations. With staggering box office receipts of US$ 290.7 million, it was a smashing success. In 2000, the cast of the movie, which included Stanton, received a “Screen Actors Guild Award” nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast.”

Stanton played the lead character of “Henry” in Nicolas Cage’s crime drama debut, “Sonny,” which hit theaters on September 2, 2002. James Franco acted as the title character. However, the movie didn’t do well at the box office.

One of Stanton’s final acting appearances was as the title character in the American drama “Lucky,” which was directed by John Carroll Lynch and debuted on March 11, 2017, and brought in US$ 955,925 at the box office. Along with a few other nominations, his outstanding portrayal of a 90-year-old atheist earned him the “AISGE Award for Best Actor” at the “Gijón International Film Festival” and the “Satellite Award for Best Actor—Motion Picture.”

A few other well-known movies with Stanton are “Alpha Dog” (2006), “Rango” (2011), and “Seven Psychopaths” (2012). Stanton participated in numerous TV productions throughout his career, including the programs “Gunsmoke” (1959–1968), “Big Love” (2006–2010), “Mongo Wrestling Alliance” (voice role, 2011), and “Twin Peaks” (2017). He appeared in several TV movies, including “The Ransom of Red Chief” (1987), “Hostages” (1992), and “Against the Wall” (1994).

Due to his love of music, he traveled to nightclubs and performed guitar and singing. He has appeared in music videos for songs by Procol Harum from 1985’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” Bob Dylan from 2009’s “Dreamin’ of You,” and The Killers from 2013’s “Christmas in L.A.”

Personal Life of Harry Dean Stanton

On September 15, 2017, in the ‘Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’ in Los Angeles, California, he passed away naturally at the age of 91.

Harry Dean Stanton’s Net Worth

At the time of his passing in 2017, Harry Dean Stanton, an American actor, musician, and singer, had a net worth of $10 million. In addition to playing Carl Rodd in “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” (1992) and the 2017 “Twin Peaks” revival, Stanton also portrayed Samuel Brett in “Alien,” Jack Walsh in “Pretty in Pink,” Roman Grant on the HBO series “Big Love,” and Jack Walsh in “Pretty in Pink” (1986).