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Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton died around 2012

Harry Dean Stanton died around 2017

Can't keep a good man down

Harry Dean Stanton was reported to have died aged 91 on 15th September 2017. To many people however, this came as a shock since they thought he'd died a few years before that, with the consensus being 2012. Are they experiencing a collective false memory?

His career spanned 60 years, ranging from Cool Hand Luke in 1967 right up to Lucky in 2017. Most sci-fi fans will remember him as the first kill by the adult xenomorph in the first Alien film, but in fact he spent many years as a bit actor before making it big in his own right.

Few people realised he was a World War 2 veteran, having served in the US Navy in the Battle of Okinawa. Surviving that, and aliens, shows the stuff he was made of.

Music / TV / Movie

Stanton first appeared on television in Inner Sanctum, 1954. He moved on to a character called Stoneman in Treasure Trail, 1959. His first movie debut was in a 1957 Western called  Tomahawk Trail. He then slowly gained more supporting roles, and changed his name to Dean Stanton to avoid confusion with another actor called Harry Stanton. He eventually would up acting alongside many Hollywood legends such as Gregory Peck and Jack Nicholson. It wasn't until 1984's Paris, Texas that he made his breakthrough when he took the star role - up to then, he'd always been a supporting actor, even though some movies were huge hits such as How the West Was won.

Stanton was a huge country and western fan, and as an extremely capable musician toured bars and nightclubs for years with his own spin on the genre.

As with many celebrity deaths, he's suffered the rite of passage that the internet hoax seems to revel in, but the news of his death in 2017 doesn't seem to be part of that, because those who were surprised by it actually remember the TV coverage and funeral from "the first time round".