I was incredibly sorry to hear that the wonderful Harry Dean Stanton had passed away in hospital last Friday. Although he had reached the ripe old age of 91 it doesn't make it any less sad to say goodbye to the legendary character actor who I took great delight in seeing in absolutely anything he did on screen.
Without a doubt my favourite Harry Dean Stanton film is Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas which I implore you watch if you haven’t ever seen it. Harry Dean plays Travis who had gone missing in the desert but turns up unexpectedly attempting to reconnect with his brother and son. It is beautifully shot and has a wonderfully haunting soundtrack composed by Ry Cooder. No matter how many times I watch this film, Harry Dean’s monologue to his ex-wife makes me blub like a baby. His talents as an actor are incredible, especially in Paris, Texas which is one of my utter favourite films. But my most favourite film of all time is Wild At Heart in which Harry Dean plays Jonnie Farragut who is hopelessly in love with and manipulated by Diane Ladd’s supreme villainous Marietta Fortune. Together they make a hilarious couple and I love the scene when Jonnie is lying on his hotel room bed barking at the hyenas on the television.
It was an utter joy to see him reprise the role of Carl Rodd owner of The Fat Trout Trailer Park in the new series of Twin Peaks. I always found his scenes in Fire Walk With Me very funny and also quite disturbing. When he utters the words, “I’ve already been places, I’d like to stay where I am” you just know he’s seen some freaky stuff in his lifetime. Mark Frost confirmed that Carl was an original Bookhouse Boy which didn’t come as a surprise. His character was reliable, loyal, charming and kind. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Harry Dean on screen again with Lynch soon in the just released film Lucky and will be sure to review it here when I do.
Lynch said of the passing of his long-time friend and collaborator, "The great Harry Dean Stanton has left us. 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. You are really going to be missed Harry Dean."
Another loved member of the Twin Peaks family has moved on but how lucky were we to see so much great work and especially to have him included in Twin Peaks Season 3? 91 is a very great age to reach and especially leaving the legacy behind that he has. A great man of wit and wisdom, he will be missed.