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Remembering the legendary Harry Dean Stanton, and talking favorite character actors

by FilmWeek

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Actor Harry Dean Stanton poses for a portrait at Dan Tana's Restaurant on August 22, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Renowned character actor Harry Dean Stanton died last week in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 91 years old.

Stanton’s career spans more than half a century, starting in television with recurring but small roles as villains and cowboys on westerns like ‘Rawhide’ and ‘Bonanza’ before making his way to the big screen and finally getting his big break in 1984, when he starred in ‘Paris, Texas’ as well as the cult favorite ‘Repo Man.’ From there, he went on to earn roles in a number of big movies, including ‘Alien,’ ‘Pretty in Pink,’ and ‘The Last Temptation of Christ.’ At the age of almost 80, he was cast as a self-described prophet with 14 wives in the HBO’s series ‘Big Love’ about the lives of polygamists. He also had a recurring role on the Showtime series ‘Twin Peaks. His final starring role before his death was in an upcoming film called ‘Lucky,’ which KPCC’s critics will review on the September 29th edition of FilmWeek.

One of Stanton’s most defining characteristics was the scraggly, hollow-eyed look that earned him many a role. Stanton was also a talented singer, touring with a male chorus early in his career and eventually forming his own band called The Harry Dean Stanton Band.

In honor of Stanton’s passing, we’ll talk with the FilmWeek critics about their favorite character actors of all time and we want to hear yours too!

Join the conversation at 866-893-5722.


Andy Klein, KPCC film critic

Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association; she tweets @ClaudiaPuig

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC and Alt-Film Guide; he tweets @CinemaInMind

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