Harry Dean Stanton died one year ago today, and he went out on a high note: “Lucky” found the revered actor at his best, marking another stellar performance in a decades-long career full of them. Logan Sparks, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay and was Stanton’s friend for more than a decade, tells the Guardian that “filming was a bitter-sweet time” because “Harry said that whatever happens this would be his last movie.”
“He knew the scenes inside and out and would swim around in the lines until his fingers got pruney,” he adds. “He was enthralled with making the movie, but a lot of the topics upset him. He was really scared and he was also at peace. There was a strange duality.”
Stanton, who had memorable roles in everything from “Alien” and “Repo Man” to “Paris, Texas” and “The Straight Story,” was 91 when he died of heart failure.
Sparks continues: “The last time I saw him at his house was about six months after the film had been made. He was sitting on his sofa and was really ill and coughing. He looked at me and said: ‘I’m scared.’ Then he tried to light a cigarette and when I said: ‘Those things will kill you,’ he said: ‘I hope it does.’ I knew it was the beginning of the end. He got an infection and died of congestive heart failure. I held his hand at the hospital when he passed away. I made a promise that I would be there to the end and I am really glad that I kept my promise.”
Sparks recalls many other details from his friend’s storied life, including his “extreme lack of self-confidence.” Read the full remembrance here.