The great actor Harry Dean Stanton died a year ago this month. I just played the Paris, Texas, soundtrack (my interview with Memphis musician Jim Dickinson covers this film in Insured Beyond The Grave), and I thought of Harry.
Born July 14, 1926, in West Irvine, Kentucky, Stanton could sing, play guitar and act. Stanton served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, and participated in the Battle of Okinawa. Harry was the Monster Mash.
Stanton’s impressive performances in films such as Cool Hand Luke, Dillinger, The Godfather Part II, Cockfighter, Alien, Escape From New York, Christine, Repo Man, The Last Temptation of Christ, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Green Mile and his last film Lucky prove his weight in the industry. His career spanned 60 years. So, many other notable appearances I omitted due to time constraints. But, his work should be revisited at the first chance.
Stanton served as Jack Nicholson’s best man at Nicholson’s wedding in 1962. His close friends were Sam Peckinpah (he’s in Insured Beyond The Grave Vol. 2), Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Shepard (also in IBTG Vol.2) and David Lynch.