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Harry Dean Stanton

“No movie featuring Harry Dean Stanton could be altogether bad.” — Roger Ebert

“Harry Dean Stanton: Crossing Mulholland,” a Kentucky Muse production directed by Tom Thurman, examines the life of one of Hollywood’s more eccentric and intriguing personalities. Tracking the actor’s path from humble beginnings in West Irvine, Ky., through a prolific and storied film career, “Crossing Mulholland” paints a striking portrait of this one-of-a-kind Kentuckian.

Interviews with family and friends reveal that by the time Stanton left home to pursue acting in California, he had already acquired the raw look and intense presence that would become his on-screen signature. After attending Lafayette High School in Lexington, Stanton served in the Navy. He later attended the University of Kentucky on the G.I. Bill, studying everything from journalism and radio arts to acting and music. From there, he drifted west, finding a home at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he began honing his craft and making a name for himself.

“Crossing Muholland” viewers discover that in the 1950s, whenever television called, Stanton was there to play the loner, tramp, killer, thief, or whatever was required. More than half a century ago, he had already acquired that face: wolf-like, lonely, dangerous, and friendly at the same time.


Such notable Hollywood figures as actors Billy Bob Thornton and Richard Dreyfuss; musicians Kris Kristofferson and Michelle Phillips; critic Leonard Maltin; and directors John Carpenter and Wim Wenders discuss Stanton’s talents. Producers and directors have turned to Stanton again and again in films like "Paris, Texas," "Repo Man," "The Green Mile," HBO’s acclaimed series "Big Love," and the 2011 animated feature "Rango."

“Crossing Mulholland” also takes time to look at Stanton’s other passion — music, featuring several intimate, living room jam sessions with friends Michelle Phillips and Jamie James. Stanton expresses his love for singing and playing music, while his unique voice brings a sense of mystery to each song.

A favorite of directors, critics, colleagues, and audiences, Kentuckian Harry Dean Stanton has carved his name into the cultural consciousness of cinematic arts. “Harry Dean Stanton: Crossing Mulholland” offers an insightful look at this versatile and talented actor while giving viewers a chance to hang out with a pretty interesting fellow.