Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton Photo


Date of Birth: July 14, 1926

After attending Lafayette High School in Kentucky, Harry Dean Stanton went to serve the U.S. Navy during World War II. When he returned from service, he continued his education at the University of Kentucky for three years. University introduced him to the stage, where he performed in a number of student productions, including Pygmalion.

The stage experience inspired him to continue acting and after graduating, he studied at a drama school in Los Angeles, while continuing to perform at the Pasadena Playhouse. After touring in several shows, he decided to settle down in Los Angeles in 1958 and try his hand at the film industry.

Stanton made his film debut in One Too Many (1950) and for the rest of the decade played small parts in numerous films, most of them westerns, war movies and actioners. Stanton continued a steady career through the '60s, but didn't go anywhere until the '70s when he appeared in several cult movies, including Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and Rancho Deluxe (1975).

Having worked as a character actor for years, Stanton's 1979 role as Brett in the film Alien and his 1984 role as Bud in Repo Man were breakthrough roles that made him a cult favorite. He continued making strong performances in supporting roles for hit films like Escape from New York (1981), Twister (1988), Twin Peaks (1992), Down Periscope (1995), The Green Mile (1999) and The Pledge (2001).

Although he focused most of his attention on features, he made the occasional appearance on the small screen as well. Besides telefilms like The Oldest Living Graduate, I Want to Live, Hostages and Against the Wall, he also worked on the series, Hotel Room, and made guest appearances in dozons of other television series.

Stanton also played guitar and sang with his band, called "The Harry Dean Stanton Band." The band, which often performed in Hollywood, played a mix of jazz, pop, and tex-mex styles.

Stanton passed away at age 91 on September 15, 2017 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.