Sunday, December 14, 2008
Harry Dean Stanton
Get down on your knees, Planet Earth, and thank Kentucky once again for bringing you raw talent at its best. Harry Dean Stanton, one of Hollywood's greatest maverick actors, and known for being a character offstage as well as on, is a Kentuckian.
Harry was born in Irvine in 1926, and graduated from the University of Kentucky in Lexington before moving on to a theatre and film career in California. His long film oeuvre includes How the West Was Won (1962), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), The Godfather Part II (1974), Alien (1979), Escape from New York (1981), Repo Man, (1984), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), and Inland Empire (2006), among others. Youngsters today probably know him best as Roman Grant, the elder in the Mormon-themed HBO show Big Love.
While he's still kickin', I'd love to do some research about Harry's Lexington years, and find out what clubs, bars and taverns he frequented - it's entirely possible that he and the great writer/pool hustler/drinkin' man Walter Tevis' paths may have crossed, either knowingly or unknowingly. Tevis was born in 1928, and spent a lot of time in both Irvine and Lexington. Since Winchester and Richmond lie directly between Irvine and Lexington (on Route 89 and Highway 25, respectively) it's a certainty that these cities were part of Harry's teenage stomping grounds as well.