Cult American actor Harry Dean Stanton dies aged 91

The veteran actor appeared in everything from Alien to Twin Peaks via Paris, Texas

Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton, the grizzled character actor who for more than 60 years was a mainstay of American independent films, has died aged 91.

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The actor was most recently seen in the series revival of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, after also appearing in the director’s 1992 Twin Peaks follow-up Fire Walk With Me.

Lynch, who also cast Stanton in films including Wild At Heart and Inland Empire, released a statement following news of his death, saying, “There went a great one. 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 – so great to be around him!!!”

But Twin Peaks was just the latest in a long line of roles, from scene-stealing appearances in films like 1967’s Cool Hand Luke to his 1984 breakthrough, aged 58, in Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas.

He appeared in Ridley Scott’s Alien as a Nostromo crew member, and continued to make waves in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and Repo Man directed by Alex Cox.

Carpenter called him “a wonderful man. He was kind and generous and he loved to play music. I loved directing him and I will miss him.”

His most recent film, Lucky (trailer above), is due to be released at the end of September. A statement from the filmmakers following his death said, “We lost a legend today with the passing of Harry Dean Stanton. Everyone involved with Lucky is deeply saddened by his tremendous loss. We had always hoped to celebrate this film and Harry’s beautiful performance with Harry himself.

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“Our hearts go out to all who knew him, all who loved him, and his fans the world over. He will be missed, but his work will live on as long as people watch films.”