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Beloved Character Actor “Harry Dean Stanton” Dies at 91

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Harry Dean dies
Image: VOA

Actor Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017)

For more than 60 years, Harry Dean Stanton played crooks and codgers, eccentrics and losers.

He endowed them with pathos and compassion and animated them with his gaunt, unforgettable presence, making would-be fringe figures feel central to the films appeared in.

The late critic Roger Ebert once said no movie can be altogether bad if it includes Stanton in a supporting role, and the wide cult of fans that included directors and his fellow actors felt the same.

“I think all actors will agree, no one gives a more honest, natural, truer performance than Harry Dean Stanton,” director David Lynch said in presenting Stanton with the Inaugural “Harry Dean Stanton Award” in Los Angeles last year.

Stanton died Friday of natural causes at a Los Angeles hospital at age 91, his agent John S. Kelley said.

Lynch, a frequent collaborator with the actor in projects like “Wild at Heart” and the recent reboot of “Twin Peaks,” said in a statement after Stanton’s death that “Everyone loved him. And with good reason. He was a great actor (actually beyond great) — and a great human being.”

When given a rare turn as a leading man, Stanton more than made the most of it. In Wim Wenders’ 1984 rural drama “Paris, Texas,” Stanton’s near-wordless performance is laced with moments of humor and poignancy. His heartbreakingly stoic delivery of a monologue of repentance to his wife, played by Nastassja Kinski, through a one-way mirror has become the defining moment in his career, in a role he said was his favorite.

“‘Paris, Texas’ gave me a chance to play compassion,” Stanton told an interviewer, “and I’m spelling that with a capital C.”

The film won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival and provided the actor with his first star billing, at age 58.

“Repo Man,” released that same year, became another signature film: Stanton starred as the world-weary boss of an auto repossession firm who instructs Estevez in the tricks of the hazardous trade.

He was widely loved around Hollywood, a drinker and smoker and straight talker with a million stories who palled around with Jack Nicholson and Kris Kristofferson among others and was a hero to such younger stars and brothers-in-partying as Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez.

He appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows in a career dating to the mid-1950s. A cult-favorite since the ’70s with roles in “Cockfighter,” ″Two-Lane Blacktop” and “Cisco Pike,” his more famous credits ranged from the Oscar-winning epic “The Godfather Part II” to the sci-fi classic “Alien” to the teen flick “Pretty in Pink,” in which he played Molly Ringwald’s father.

While fringe roles and films were a specialty, he also ended up in the work of many of the 20th century’s master auteurs, even Alfred Hitchcock in the director’s serial TV show.

“I worked with the best directors,” Stanton told the AP in a 2013 interview, given while chain-smoking in pajamas and a robe. “Martin Scorsese, John Huston, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock. Alfred Hitchcock was great.”

He said he could have been a director himself but “it was too much work.”

By his mid-80s, the Lexington Film League in his native Kentucky had founded the Harry Dean Stanton Fest and filmmaker Sophie Huber had made the documentary “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction,” which included commentary from Wenders, Sam Shepard and Kristofferson.

More recently he reunited with Lynch on Showtime’s “Twin Peaks: The Return” where he reprised his role as the cranky trailer park owner Carl from “Fire Walk With Me.” He also stars with Lynch in the upcoming film “Lucky,” the directorial debut of actor John Carroll Lynch, which has been described as a love letter to Stanton’s life and career.

Stanton, who early in his career used the name Dean Stanton to avoid confusion with another actor, grew up in West Irvine, Kentucky and said he began singing when he was a year old.

Later, he used music as an escape from his parents’ quarreling and the sometimes brutal treatment he was subjected to by his father. As an adult, he fronted his own band for years, playing western, Mexican, rock and pop standards in small venues around Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. He also sang and played guitar and harmonica in impromptu sessions with friends, performed a song in “Paris, Texas” and once recorded a duet with Bob Dylan.

Stanton, who never lost his Kentucky accent, said his interest in movies was piqued as a child when he would walk out of every theater “thinking I was Humphrey Bogart.”

After Navy service in the Pacific during World War II, he spent three years at the University of Kentucky and appeared in several plays. Determined to make it in Hollywood, he picked tobacco to earn his fare west.

Three years at the Pasadena Playhouse prepared him for television and movies.

For decades Stanton lived in a small, disheveled house overlooking the San Fernando Valley, and was a fixture at the West Hollywood landmark Dan Tana’s.

Stanton never married, although he had a long relationship with actress Rebecca De Mornay, 35 years his junior. “She left me for Tom Cruise,” Stanton said often.

In listing Stanton’s survivors, the statement announcing his death said only:

“Harry Dean is survived by family and friends who loved him.”  (source: VOA News)

 

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SRK a gift to the world, says Hollywood Director Paul Feig

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Shah Rukh Khan
image from facebook

Mumbai, November 2,2017:  Hollywood director Paul Feig of “Ghostbusters” fame on Thursday said Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is a gift to the world.

Feig, whose wife Laurie is an ardent fan of Shah Rukh and his work, on Wednesday shared a birthday message for the actor, on Twitter.

 “Happiest of birthdays to you today, SRK! You are a gift to the world. Hope to see you soon, my friend,” Feig, who has also helmed films like “The Heat” and “Spy”, tweeted.

Back in 2016, when Shah Rukh had hosted a star-studded dinner party for Apple CEO Tim Cook, Feig’s wife had tweeted: “Some day I hope Paul Feig can be welcome at Mannat! Dream, Shah Rukh Khan.”

Shah Rukh had then invited the couple over for a meal. The director had then responded: “You’re on, Shah Rukh Khan! I’ll bring the ketchup. It would be an honour to meet you. Many thanks, my friend.”(IANS)

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Monica Bellucci Visiting India For Mami fest | Mumbai Film Festival

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Monica Bellucci visits india for Mami Fest
Image: Wikimedia

Monical Bellucci Visiting India:

Mumbai, Sep 15 (IANS) Globally known Italian actress Monica Bellucci will head to Mumbai in October to be a part of the ‘Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star‘. She is very excited to make her first visit to the country.

Known for movies like “The Matrix Reloaded”, “The Matrix Revolutions”, “The Passion of the Christ” and for being the oldest Bond girl at 50 in “Spectre”, Bellucci will also be honoured with a special award at the gala.

Monica Belluci says: “I am very touched and honoured to receive an award by the Mumbai Film Festival as well as presenting some of my films there. It is very exciting to come to India for the first time.

Monica Belluci visiting india
IANS Image

She also thanked the organisers for extending the invitation to her.

Anupama Chopra, the festival director, told IANS: “Monica Bellucci is an incredible actor, and to my mind, the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m so thrilled that she can come and be with us at the festival.”

Among Bellucci’s films that will be screened are “On The Milky Road” and “Irreversible”.

According to a source in the know of developments, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap will be in conversation with Bellucci at a session during the gala.

Also, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is likely to host a party for the actress.

The 19th edition of the movie jamboree, run by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) will get underway here on October 12 and will run till October 18 across seven venues here.

Over 220 films from 49 countries and filmed in 51 languages are part of the line-up, which will begin with Kashyap’s “Mukkabaaz (The Brawler)”.

Popular director John Madden, whose “Shakespeare In Love” had won an Oscar, and who helmed “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” series — widely shot in India — will serve as head of the international jury at the festival. (source:IANS)