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Harry Dean Stanton (Hardback)

Hollywood's Zen Rebel

P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Screen Classics
Pages: 278
Illustrations: 16 b&w photos
ISBN: 9780813180106
Published: 12th November 2020
Casemate UK Academic

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Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) got his start in Hollywood in TV productions such as  Zane Grey Theater and  Gunsmoke. After a series of minor parts in forgettable westerns, he gradually began to get film roles that showcased his laid-back acting style, appearing in  Cool Hand Luke (1967),  Kelly's Heroes (1970),  The Godfather: Part II (1974), and  Alien (1979). He became a headliner in the eighties - starring in Wim Wenders's moving  Paris, Texas (1984) and Alex Cox's  Repo Man (1984) - but it was his extraordinary skill as a character actor that established him as a revered cult figure and kept him in demand throughout his career.

 

Joseph B. Atkins unwinds Stanton's enigmatic persona in the first biography of the man Vanity Fair memorialized as "the philosopher poet of character acting." He sheds light on Stanton's early life in West Irvine, Kentucky, exploring his difficult relationship with his Baptist parents, his service in the navy, and the events that inspired him to drop out of college and pursue acting. Atkins also explores Stanton as a Hollywood legend, chronicling his years rooming with Jack Nicholson, partying with David Crosby and Mama Cass, jogging with Bob Dylan, and playing poker with John Huston.

 

Harry Dean Stanton is often remembered for his crowd-pleasing roles in movies like Pretty in Pink (1986) or  Escape from New York (1981), but this impassioned biography illuminates the entirety of his incredible sixty-year career. Drawing on interviews with the actor's friends, family, and colleagues, this much-needed book offers an unprecedented look at a beloved figure.

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