Re­mem­ber­ing much-loved ac­tor Harry Dean Stan­ton

SFX - - Red Alert -

One of Amer­i­can cin­ema’s most fa­mil­iar faces, Harry Dean Stan­ton, passed away on 15 Septem­ber, aged 91. Though never a lead­ing man (partly through choice), over a ca­reer span­ning 63 years he built up a for­mi­da­ble CV by fol­low­ing ad­vice given to him by Jack Ni­chol­son: “He told me not to do any­thing – just let the wardrobe do the act­ing.”

Stan­ton brought his la­conic, laid-back style to sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant roles in the sci-fi/fan­tasy genre. In Alien he helped ground the story’s fan­tas­ti­cal events in a re­lat­able world as blue-col­lar cynic/ man-of-few-words Brett. Stan­ton was also key to the cult ap­peal of Alex Cox’s Repo Man, play­ing Bud, the men­tor teach­ing Emilio Estevez’s kid the rules of the car re­pos­ses­sion busi­ness: dress like a de­tec­tive, take speed, al­ways be pack­ing. He was also a favourite of John Car­pen­ter, for whom he por­trayed sci­en­tist Brain – an old buddy of Snake Plissken – in Es­cape From New York, and a po­lice de­tec­tive in Stephen King adap­ta­tion Chris­tine.

A reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tor with David Lynch, Stan­ton was most re­cently seen on screen in the re­vived Twin Peaks, re­turn­ing as trailer park owner Carl Rodd. Lynch paid trib­ute by de­scrib­ing him as, “A won­der­ful man, kind and full of hu­mour”, adding that, “He was also a great ac­tor.” For any­one fa­mil­iar with Stan­ton’s work, that went with­out say­ing.

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