We were wild about Harry

Texas star hails ac­tor as in­spi­ra­tion af­ter his death

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - TRIBUTES - By Rus­sell Black­stock rblack­stock@sun­day­post.com

SCOTS rocker Sharleen Spi­teri last night paid trib­ute to the leg­endary Amer­i­can ac­tor who in­spired her hit band.

Harry Dean Stan­ton – fa­mous for films in­clud­ing Cool Hand Luke, Repo Man and Alien – died in hos­pi­tal in Los An­ge­les on Friday, aged 91.

Sharleen named her band Texas af­ter Stan­ton’s 1984 cult road movie Paris, Texas. She re­garded him as an all-time hero.

Last night, she took to so­cial me­dia to pay trib­ute.

“Firstly a gen­tle­man, then an in­spi­ra­tion, an­other light that will now shine brightly in our skies,” Sharleen wrote.

“You were a joy and an in­spi­ra­tion, Harry Dean Stan­ton.”

One of her most mem­o­rable mo­ments came when Texas got to meet Stan­ton in 1989.

He turned up to see them play a gig in Los An­ge­les, three years af­ter form­ing the group.

“The first time I saw him we were al­ready on stage,” she said of the meet­ing.

“He stood to one side watch­ing us, look­ing ex­actly like you’d ex­pect Harry Dean Stan­ton to look – cool and de­tached and wear­ing this ele­giac tan jacket.”

Sharleen was just 22 at the time and Texas were play­ing at the world-fa­mous Roxy club.

“I kept telling my­self all through the gig that it might not be him. It was self-pro­tec­tion.

“I couldn’t have han­dled the dis­ap­point­ment if it hadn’t been.

“But I kept look­ing out of the cor­ner of my eye. I wanted so much for him to like us.

“We’d named our­selves af­ter the film Paris, Texas which we adored and which was a huge in­flu­ence on our sound and art­work.

“The star – the near- silent, brood­ing heart – is Stan­ton.

“His per­for­mance is one of the most as­ton­ish­ing pieces of act­ing I’ve ever seen.”

Stan­ton, whose gaunt, haunted looks were more recog­nis­able to many than his name, ap­peared in more than 100 films and 50 tele­vi­sion shows, in­clud­ing Big Love and the re­cent series of Twin Peaks.

For many years, he played lesser-billed char­ac­ters. He got his first part as a lead­ing man in Paris, Texas which won a host of awards, in­clud­ing the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val.

The late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of the ac­tor in 1989: “No movie fea­tur­ing ei­ther Harry Dean Stan­ton or M Em­met Walsh in a sup­port­ing role can be al­to­gether bad.”

Stan­ton of­ten played hag­gard men with bat­tered souls, Turner Clas­sic Movies said in its de­scrip­tion of him.

Other stars of stage and screen last night lined up to say farewell to the ac­tor on so­cial me­dia.

Hol­ly­wood ac­tor James Woods tweeted: “Saw this and I just jumped up out of my chair. I am dev­as­tated. I loved Harry Dean. Loved him. So much. OMG.”

Bruce Sprin­steen gui­tarist Ste­vie Van Zandt posted: “Oh man! An­other le­gend gone. Harry Dean Stan­ton. Coolest of the cool. Kelly’s He­roes coolest war movie ever! Among many oth­ers.”

‘ It’s one of the most as­ton­ish­ing pieces of act­ing I’ve ever seen

The Scots band in 1988 and, right, a pic­ture of Spi­teri with Stan­ton when they met in 1989.

■ Texas singer Sharleen Spi­teri.

■ Harry Dean Stan­ton

in Paris, Texas.

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