Longtime American character actor Harry Dean Stanton passed away at 91 on Sept. 15, 2017. Though Stanton’s name may not be well-known within the realm of popular culture, his work has had a noteworthy impact on cinema since the start of his career.
Stanton’s final role was in a film called “Frank and Ava,” where he portrayed a character named Sheriff Lloyd. The film has yet to be released, but it is currently in post-production and is set to release later this year.
At the moment, Stanton’s last viewable performance is a small role in the third season of “Twin Peaks.”
Stanton played the role of Carl Rodd, a quiet, spiritual man living in a trailer park – a reprisal of his performance in the 1992 film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.”
Aside from his repeated appearances as small, powerful characters in David Lynch films, Stanton acted in over 200 different films over the course of his career. Most notably, he appeared in “Paris, Texas,” “Repo Man,” “The Green Mile,” “Alien” and “The Godfather: Part II.”
As is typical for the majority of character actors, Stanton generally appeared in small roles.
Aside from “Paris, Texas,” Stanton hardly received top billing in his films, yet he continued to find work throughout his 50 years as an actor and was well-respected by his peers.
In addition to acting, Stanton regularly toured in night clubs as a singer and guitarist. He worked with a number of musical artists, including Bob Dylan.
For those interested in a more personal look at Stanton’s life, a documentary entitled “Partly Fiction” was released in 2012. The film was directed by Stanton’s longtime partner Sophie Huber. In an interview with Marc Maron, Huber stated that she was “still trying to figure out” Stanton, even after spending over 10 years with the man.
Stanton was known as a quiet person. In many of his interviews, he talked about death and “the void.” His nihilistic views on death shaped his public image, and his fans saw him as a curious individual.
Maron’s interview with Stanton in 2014 has just been rereleased on wtfpod.com. In the interview, Stanton is distant. He rarely gives straight answers to questions, instead delivering cryptic, one-word responses.
Anyone interested in learning more about Stanton should watch “Paris, Texas” – the film that launched his career – as well as the documentary film “Partly Fiction.” For those who prefer audio, Maron’s interview offers additional information. These all provide a glimpse into Stanton’s intriguing and complicated mind.