Harry Dean Stanton (1926 – 2017)

He was one of those guys that you see popping up in just about every other movie or show. Whether he was in the background, or the lead actor, there was always an authentic approach to every role. Here are some of Harry Dean Stanton’s best.

Cool Hand Luke (1967) Classic Paul Newman film where Stanton plays a fellow prisoner named “Tramp” singing a stirring rendition of “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”.

Straight Time (1978) (On order) Starring Dustin Hoffman out on parole, Stanton plays part in yet another robbery gone wrong. Also features another great character actor in M. Emmet Walsh.

Escape From New York (1981) Mostly filmed in the St Louis area, this John Carpenter dark sci-fi film has Stanton playing a guy named “Brain” helping his buddy “Snake” break out of Manhattan which has been turned into the nation’s only maximum-security prison.


Repo Man (1984) Punk-noir film co-starring Emilio Estevez as two men repossessing cars from the ordinary people in Los Angeles.

Paris, Texas (1984) Stanton plays a man who has reappeared in the desert with only a name and number eventually leading to a strange reunion with loved ones from his past.  With Wim Wenders directing and Sam Shepard writing the script, it was the perfect movie for his first starring role.

Pretty In Pink (1986) (On order) Playing a drunk, poor but well meaning single dad to high schooler Molly Ringwald coming of age in this John Hughes classic

Besides the film work, Harry Dean Stanton appeared in many television shows over the years. Be sure to check out Big Love and Gunsmoke  for more of his scene stealing roles.

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