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Actor Harry Dean Stanton, of 'Alien,' 'Pretty in Pink,' dies at 91

US character actor Harry Dean Stanton has died from natural causes at a Los Angeles hospital. "He's one of those actors who knows that his face is the story," his friend Sam Shepard, the playwright and actor, once said.

Harry Dean Stanton's career spanned six decades, during which time he had supporting roles in films such as "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "The Godfather Part II" (1974), "Alien" (1979), "Repo Man" (1984), "Pretty in Pink" (1986) and most recently David Lynch's new season of the cult TV series "Twin Peaks."

Read more: Welcome to Twin Peaks: a much-awaited return

In "Paris, Texas," written by playwright Sam Shepard,  who died in July, and helmed by German director Wim Wenders, Stanton played an emotionally broken man trying to put his life and family back together.

His final on-screen role is in the upcoming film "Lucky."

Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassia Kinski und Regisseur Wim Wenders 1984 (picture-alliance/Everett Collection)

Stanton (left) filmed 'Paris, Texas' with Nastassja Kinski (center) and Wenders in 1984

Worked with Scorsese, Scott, Coppola

Stanton worked with many of Hollywood's most notable directors, including Frances Ford Coppola ("The Godfather Part II" and "One From the Heart"), Sam Peckinpah ("Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"), Martin Scorsese ("The Last Temptation of Christ"), Ridley Scott ("Alien"), and Lynch ("Wild at Heart," "The Straight Story," and "Inland Empire").

Stanton could be taciturn to the point of mystery. When asked in the documentary "Partly Fiction" how he would like to be remembered, Stanton replied: "It doesn't matter."

Stanton was born July 14, 1926, in West Irvine, Kentucky, to a tobacco farmer father and hairdresser mother who divorced when he was a teenager.

Stanton, who served as a cook at the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, became interested in acting at the University of Kentucky.

He never married but once told an interviewer he had "one, maybe two" sons.

jbh/cmk (dpa, Reuters)

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