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Hollywood Mourns Death of ‘Legendary’ Harry Dean Stanton: ‘The Definition of Cool’

Legendary character actor Harry Dean Stanton died on Friday, and Hollywood was quick to mourn the “Big Love” actor.

Jon Cryer, who starred alongside Stanton in 1986’s “Pretty in Pink,” posted a photo of the two on set with the caption, “Was an honor, man. #RIPHarryDeanStanton”

“Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright also shared a still of Stanton from “Repo Man” with the caption, “RIP to the legendary Harry Dean Stanton. Impossible to cover his legacy in brief but here’s a few favs: ‘Alien,’ ‘Paris Texas,’ ‘Repo Man.'”

Longtime Stanton collaborator David Lynch, who most recently worked with him on the “Twin Peaks” revival, released a statement, writing, “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!!! Loads of love to you wherever you are now!!!

Director Monte Hellman made “Ride in the Whirlwind” (1966), “Two Lane Blacktop” (1971), and “Cockfighter” (1974) with Stanton. He told Variety that he met Stanton through Jack Nicholson “back when they were roommates.” Hellman said that Stanton “had the same quality as all great actors and I think Harry summed it up best himself when he told me some advice Jack had given him. It was ‘Let the wardrobe do the acting.’ He was one of a kind and he didn’t have a bad angle. You could him up, down, left, right and he always looked great. He did have an actor’s ego and did want to garner more lead roles. I remember on ‘Two Lane Blacktop’ he thought he should have been cast in the Warren Oates part. He was also very upset when he discovered, on location in Oklahoma, that the character was a gay hitchhiker. This was 1970 and he was a little bit old-fashioned in his thinking then. Actually, he was so pissed off, he almost quit. But then he delivered what I believe is one of the most moving performances of his life.”

Shawn Doyle, who acted with Stanton in “Big Love,” tweeted a tribute. “You could watch him on set say a line as simple as ‘hello,’ and be mystified why it was so friggin compelling.”

Horror film director John Carpenter, who directed the actor in “Escape From New York,” tweeted, “Harry Dean Stanton was a wonderful man, kind and full of humor. He was also a great actor. Goodbye, Harry Dean. Rest in peace.”

Olivia Wilde wrote that Stanton was the “definition of cool,” and recounted her experience working with him on 2006’s “Alpha Dog.”

See other reactions below.

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