The cinema world lost another great one recently, but leaving us at 91 years of age, Harry Dean Stanton lived a long, passionate, and very interesting life. To celebrate that, let’s look at five facts you may or may not have known about him.
Wasn’t the First Choice for “Bud” in Repo Man
Director Alex Cox originally wanted to cast Dennis Hopper as “Bud” in the indie cult classic Repo Man (1984), but Hopper wanted too much money. Cox then decided to pursue Stanton, but after talking to his agent, he was told that Mick Jagger might be better for the role. Sticking with his gut instinct, Cox cast Stanton instead. And hopefully afterwards, Stanton got a new agent.
Jack Nicholson’s Best Man
A longtime friend of Jack Nicholson, Harry Dean Stanton stood as best man at his wedding in 1962. They were roommates before Nicholson landed his breakthrough role as George Hanson in Easy Rider (1969) and remained friends in an inner circle of acting and writing elites, including Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Hunter S. Thompson, and also recently deceased Sam Shepard.
Served in World War II
A veteran, Stanton was a cook aboard the Landing Ship Tank USS LST-970 in World War II, serving in the Battle of Okinawa.
A lifelong bachelor, Harry Dean Stanton dated Rebecca De Mornay in the early 80’s and considered her the love of his life, as well as Natassja Kinksi (of Species, whom he starred with in Paris, Texas), and music icon Deborah Harry (of Blondie).
Sang at Hunter S. Thompson’s Funeral
As previously mentioned, a close friend of Hunter S. Thompson, and having appeared in Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Stanton performed “Danny Boy” at Thompson’s funeral.
Harry Dean Stanton exuded that “every man” quality in his roles, was a scene-stealer in every film, and although he is gone, he will live forever on celluloid. Let’s all tip a forty in his honor.