One of Hollywood's most popular character actors, Harry Dean Stanton (or occasionally Dean Stanton, or Harry Stanton) (July 14, 1926-September 15, 2017) made a career of playing supporting roles. His first acting role was in an episode of Inner Sanctum in 1954, and following that he appeared in a vast number of television shows and movies.
- Seven Psychopaths: The Quaker Psychopath
- The Avengers: The security guard who gives Bruce Banner fresh clothes
- Big Love: Roman Grant
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: Carl Rodd
- Down Periscope: Chief Engineer, CPO Howard.
- Wild at Heart: Johnnie Farragut
- Paris, Texas: Travis Henderson (a rare leading man role for him)
- Repo Man: Bud, the repo man who recruits Emilio Estevez; he later reprised this role in Chuck.
- Pretty in Pink: Molly Ringwald's father.
- One Magic Christmas: The Christmas Angel, Gideon.
- Christine: Detective Rudolph Junkins
- Escape from New York: Brain
- Alien: Brett
- Kelly's Heroes: Private Willard
- Cool Hand Luke: Tramp
- Red Dawn (1984): Patrick Swayze's and Charlie Sheen's dad. (AVENGE ME!)
- The Godfather Part II: One of the FBI Agents guarding Frank Pentangeli.
- Dillinger: Homer Van Meter. ("Things ain't working out for me today!")
Tropes Associated with Harry Dean Stanton include:
- Cool Old Guy: In most of his roles from about 1995 onwards.
- Hidden Depths: In both Kelly's Heroes and Cool Hand Luke, he displays a fine singing voice. He finally released his debut album in 2014.
- Older and Wiser: In real life, was this to some members of the Brat Pack in the Eighties.
- Production Posse: Was a long time member of David Lynch's.
- Rule of Sean Connery: Film critic Roger Ebert was such a big fan of his work, he created the Stanton-Walsh rule, which states that "[n]o movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad."
- What Might Have Been: Stanton was David Lynch's first choice to play Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, but he didn't want to deal with the emotions playing that role would bring up.