Allegorical Littera

Allegorical Littera

Friday, September 22, 2017

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Harry Dean Stanton, Character Actor Who Became a Star, Dies at 91:

By Anita Gates
The New York Times
September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton in the 1984 movie “Repo Man.”
Credit Universal Pictures, via Photofest

Harry Dean Stanton, the gaunt, hollow-eyed, scene-stealing character actor who broke out of obscurity in his late 50s in two starring movie roles and capped his career with an acclaimed characterization as a corrupt polygamist on the HBO series “Big Love,” died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was confirmed by his agent, John S. Kelly.

Mr. Stanton spent two decades typecast in Hollywood as cowboys and villains before his unusual talents began to attract notice on the strength of his performances in the movies “Straight Time” (1978); “Alien,” “Wise Blood” and “The Rose” (all 1979); and “Escape From New York” (1981).

In those roles — as a former criminal bored in the law-abiding world, a 22nd-century space traveler, a street preacher pretending to be blind, a devastatingly cruel country-music star and a crazed demolitions expert — his look and his down-home voice were the same, but his characters were distinct and memorable.

Mr. Stanton at the premiere of HBO’s “Big Love” in Hollywood in 2006. He starred as a corrupt polygamist.
Credit Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times in 1978 that Mr. Stanton’s “mysterious gift” was “to be able to make everything he does seem immediately authentic.” The critic Roger Ebert once wrote that Mr. Stanton was one of two character actors (the other was M. Emmet Walsh) whose presence in a movie guaranteed that it could not be “altogether bad.”

But he remained largely unknown to the general public until 1984, when the seemingly impossible, or at least the unexpected, happened: Mr. Stanton, the quintessential supporting player, became a leading man.

That year he starred as a wandering amnesiac reunited with his family in Wim Wenders’s “Paris, Texas,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and as a fast-talking automobile thief training Emilio Estevez in the ways of his world in Alex Cox’s cult comedy “Repo Man.”

If there was any remaining doubt about his newly attained star status, it was eliminated in 1986 when he was invited to host “Saturday Night Live.”

Mr. Stanton, left, and the actress Nastassja Kinski at the 37th Cannes Film Festival for a screening of “Paris, Texas” in 1984. At right is Wim Wenders, who directed it.
Credit Michel Lipchitz/Associated Press

Mr. Stanton was never anonymous again, although he continued to make his contributions almost entirely in supporting roles. He played Molly Ringwald’s underemployed father in the teenage romance “Pretty in Pink” (1986), the apostle Paul in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988), a private eye in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” (1990), a judge in Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998), the hero’s ailing brother in Mr. Lynch’s “The Straight Story” (1999), a veteran inmate cheerfully testing the electrocution equipment in “The Green Mile” (1999) and Charlie Sheen’s father in “The Big Bounce” (2004).

Mr. Stanton was cast in one of his best-known roles when he was almost 80: that of Roman Grant, a self-proclaimed prophet with 14 wives, on “Big Love,” HBO’s acclaimed series about the everyday lives of polygamists. After his character was killed in the Season 3 finale in 2009, he joked that the show had generated more response than anything else he had done, “except for a couple hundred other movies.”

Mr. Stanton had an impressive singing voice and toured with a male chorus early in his career. He first sang on screen in “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), doing three numbers, including the hymn “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” He later formed the Harry Dean Stanton Band, which played rock, blues, jazz and Tex-Mex numbers in Los Angeles nightclubs and on tour.

In 2014 he released an album, “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction,” consisting of songs he sang on the soundtrack of a documentary about him by the same name.

Mr. Stanton in 2012 at the world premiere of the film “Marvel’s the Avengers” in Hollywood.
Credit Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Harry Dean Stanton was born in West Irvine, Ky., a small town southeast of Lexington, on July 14, 1926, the son of Sheridan Stanton, a tobacco farmer who also worked as a barber, and the former Ersel Moberly, a cook.

After serving in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, he attended the University of Kentucky, where he became interested in drama. Dropping out of college after three years, he moved to Los Angeles and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Mr. Stanton — who was often billed as Dean Stanton early in his career to avoid confusion with another character actor, Harry Stanton — made his first television appearance in 1954 in an episode of “Inner Sanctum,” a syndicated mystery and suspense anthology series. His film debut was in “Tomahawk Trail,” a 1957 western starring Chuck Connors, and for the first two decades of his career westerns were his specialty.

Among the numerous TV westerns on which he was seen were “Rawhide,” “Bonanza” and “The Big Valley.” He was also on eight episodes of “Gunsmoke,” playing a different character in each. His last western film was Arthur Penn’s unorthodox “The Missouri Breaks” (1976), starring Marlon Brando and Mr. Stanton’s onetime roommate Jack Nicholson.

Mr. Stanton performing in Los Angeles in 2006. He was an accomplished singer who formed his own band, which played rock, blues, jazz and Tex-Mex numbers in nightclubs and on tour.
Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Mr. Stanton remained busy to the end. He had small roles in the 2012 movies “The Avengers” and “Seven Psychopaths” and was in episodes of the HBO series “Getting On” in 2013 and 2014. This year, he appeared in a few episodes of “Twin Peaks: The Return” and starred in the feature film “Lucky,” scheduled for release this month. He plays a hard-bitten 90-year-old atheist in the movie, which also stars Mr. Lynch.

Mr. Stanton drew unwanted headlines in 1996 after gunmen broke into his Hollywood home on Mulholland Drive, struck him and tied him up before ransacking the house, stealing cash and electronics and escaping in his Lexus. Two men were captured in a police chase and sentenced to prison.

There was no immediate information on his survivors.

Even as his profile rose, Mr. Stanton expressed some disappointment in his career. “It’s just so frustrating when you’re in a supporting role because you only get to express a part of yourself,” he said in a 1986 interview with The Los Angeles Times.

But he was matter-of-fact about his gift. That same year he told The New York Times Magazine: “I know I’ve got the ability to bring a sense of menace to the screen. I have that specific competence, and it’s generally kept me working.”

He then summed up his adult life. “To put it mildly,” he said, “I was just a very late bloomer.”

9 Ways Multiple Sclerosis Affects Your Body From Head to Toe:

by Wendy Henderson
Multiple Sclerosis News Today
In Social Clips.
September 19, 2017

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic illness that presents many different symptoms since it can affect any part of the human body. While no two people living with MS will experience the same symptoms, according to, there are some more common ways the condition affects the body.


Cognitive issues such as brain fog, memory and concentration problems are common for people living with MS and many experience vertigo or dizziness. In rare cases, patients may also suffer from tremors or seizures.


Vision problems are often one of the first signs of MS. Double vision, blurred vision and eye pain can come on suddenly but in most cases, they are temporary and are due to inflammation of the muscles around the eye and can be rectified with medication.


In rare cases of MS, damage to the brainstem may result in hearing problems or deafness. Again, the majority of cases are temporary but some may suffer permanent damage to hearing.

Mouth and throat

Around 40 percent of people living with MS may experience problems with speech, usually slurred speech or trouble articulating. Some may also have trouble controlling the volume of their speech. Rarer still, some people may experience problems with swallowing which can be serious as it can lead to choking. Speech and language therapists can help with both speech and swallowing problems.

Arms and legs

The limbs are most likely to be affected by multiple sclerosis, with patients suffering from a variety of ailments such as pain, numbness, and tingling. Both fine and gross motor skills are involved as hand-to-eye coordination may be affected and many will suffer from balance problems or have difficulty walking as the disease progresses.

Bladder and bowel

Nerve damage can lead to problems controlling the bladder and bowel. Bladder problems are extremely common in MS affecting around 80 percent of patients. Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea and lack of bowel control can sometimes be managed through diet and exercise but in some cases, medication or surgery may be required.

Reproductive system

There is no evidence that suggests MS affects fertility in men or women. And for women, many find that their MS goes into remission during pregnancy. However, between 20 percent and 40 percent will relapse after they have given birth.
Sexual dysfunction is common in MS, this could be due to a variety of reasons both physical and emotional. Nerve damage, fatigue, general pain and the effects of depression can all have an effect on a person’s libido. However, these can often be overcome with some medication or a little bit of planning.

Skeletal Structure

The regular use of steroids and lack of exercise puts multiple sclerosis patients at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Exercise is important to help keep bones strong and healthy and to avoid excess bone density loss.  People with multiple sclerosis are also more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, which plays a vital role in bone health.


Researchers have discovered that women with MS are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems than those without the condition. Regular exercise and a good diet are essential to help avoid problems such as stroke, heart disease or heart failure.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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