“No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad.”
Harry Dean Stanton is turning 91 today. He began working in film and television in the fifties, in guest roles on TV and small roles in film, often uncredited or billed as Dean Stanton. He began to get better parts in the seventies, such as Homer Van Meter in Dillinger and the bent cop Billy Rolfe in Farewell My Lovely. One of his most famous roles was as the engineering technician Brett in Alien, which raised his profile considerably.
Stanton has been in cult classics like Escape From New York, Christine, and Repo Man. He has also done plenty of more mainstream films, such as Private Benjamin, Pretty in Pink, Wild at Heart and The Green Mile; many people will remember his cameo in The Avengers from a few years ago. He appeared in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and returned to at least one episode of the Showtime continuation. And at least once in his career, he got a really plum starring role, courtesy of director Wim Wenders.