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01/25/18: Lately I've been listening to Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, and found that I'm liking it more than I expected to. I first heard about it via a mention on Mark Evanier's blog, which is also highly recommended by me. Mark wrote that he was scheduled to be on the podcast soon, so I thought I'd check it out. To be honest, I didn't recognize a lot of the names of the guests, but once they were on the show, I found that I knew them. Gilbert and his co-host Frank Santopadre have a great affection for character actors, in both movies, TV, and the stage, and while some guests were not instantly recognizable, the conversations are fascinating, because they inevitably include many of the big names in entertainment of the past 50 or 60 years. One name that came up was Harry Dean Stanton, and I believe that I had a hand in his popularity. Let me explain...
     Until he passed away last year, Stanton was one of the more popular character actors, rarely a star but always making an impact in the films he was in. His career went back to 1954, but I first noticed him as the doomed engineer Brett on the star ship Nostromo in the original Alien film. After that, I noticed him in Escape from New York and Private Benjamin and other, earlier films. In 1982, he had a small part in a goofy comedy called Young Doctors in Love, which tried to capitalize on the "spoof" genre after Airplane became a big hit. Before the movie was release, I found myself walking through Evergreen Mall when I was approached by a cute girl holding a clipboard. She asked if I had some time to talk about some movie advertising, and since I had some time to kill, and she was cute, I agreed. She showed me several images and asked me whether each would entice me into a movie theater to see the film. As I was studying the posters, I noticed Harry Dean Stanton's name listed in the fine print of some of them. I mentioned that I liked him, and she asked me who he was. I told her that he was a solid actor who deserved more recognition, and that him being in the film could possibly be a factor in my wanting to see it.
     Weeks later the movie was released, and I was surprised to see Stanton's name listed on all the posters. I even remember his name specifically mentioned in most of the promotional material. After that, it seemed to me that he was everywhere, starring in Christine, Repo Man, Paris, Texas, and the original Red Dawn over the next few years. Suddenly, it seemed that Hollywood discovered what a great actor he was, after almost thirty years in the business. In that fantasy world that I live in, I like to think that my mentioning him to that influential ad executive who stopped me in Evergreen Mall while I was drinking my Orange Julius was instrumental in his success.



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