Twin Peaks actor Harry Dean Stanton dies ages 91

Actor Harry Dean Stanton dies aged 91 Harry Dean Stanton performs at the 35th anniversary celebration of the founding of Greenpeace, in Los Angeles. Picture: AP
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Harry Dean Stanton most recent film is due for release on September 29.

TweetFacebookAn actor’s actor, whose gaunt manner never sat easily in the commercial machine of Hollywood merry-go-round of pretty faces, Harry Dean Stanton has died, aged 91.

Stanton, a respected actor with an eclectic body of work which includedTwin Peaks,Paris, TexasandRepo Man, died of natural causes.

The film producer and director John Carpenter described Stanton as a great actor.

“He was [also] a wonderful man, kind and full ofhumour,” Carpenter said.

And his longtime friend David Lynch paid tribute to him, saying “the great Harry Dean Stanton has left us”.

Harry Dean Stanton in one of his most acclaimed roles in Paris, Texas Photo: Fairfax Media

“There went a great one,” Lynch said.

“There’s nobody like Harry Dean. Everyone loved him. And with good reason. He was a great actor (actually beyond great) and a great human being. [It was] so great tobe around him.”

Stephen King, who wrote the bookChristine, noted that in the film adaptation of the book, Stanton stole the best line with: “I’m selling’ this sh-thole and buyin’ a condo”.

“Rest in peace,” King said today. “You were great.”

Born in Irvine, Kentucky, in 1926, Stanton considered a career as a writer, studying journalism and radio.

Later he had to choose, he said, between being a singer or an actor. He chose the latter.

Though Stanton has a number of high-profile credits to his name,notably films such asThe Godfather Part II,Alien,Pretty In PinkandCoolHand Luke, he is best known as an actor who worked extensively in independent cinema.

His most memorable roles are in smaller, edgier films, such asCockfighter,Repo ManandEscape from New York.

He also memorably played the army recruiter responsible for tricking Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn) into joining the army in the hitPrivate Benjamin.

As a performer, he became a favourite of certain directors, notably David Lynch, appearing in 1992’sTwin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

Stanton reprised that role, Carl Rodd, in the recent reboot ofTwin Peaks.

Among his earliest roles was an uncredited partin the iconic 1962 westernHow The West Was Won.

Harry Dean Stanton. February 04, 1991.

He also worked extensively in television in the 1950s and 1960s, with roles in programs such asThe Rifleman,Johnny Ringo,The Texan,BonanzaandThe Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

After decades working as a character actor, he broke through to stardom with a role in the Wim Wenders filmParis, Texasin 1984.

Between 2006 and 2010 he played Roman Grant in the HBO dramaBig Love.

In 2012, he appeared in a documentary about his career,Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.

Aside from the reboot ofTwin Peaks, his most recent roles included the short filmThe Pimp and the Rose, and the HBO television seriesGetting On.

His final role, the lead in the filmLucky, saw him working alongside David Lynch, in a rare acting performance, as well as Ed Begley Jr and Tom Skerritt.

The film will be released on September 29.

Stanton never married; according to reports he is survived by several children.