Harry Dean Stanton during "The Wendell Baker Story" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage for ThinkFilm)
Maureen Lee Lenker
September 16, 2017 01:12 AM

Harry Dean Stanton, a unique actor whose diverse performances spanned the gamut of film and television history, has died at the age of 91.

The actor, who starred in Big Love, died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles Friday, Stanton’s agent confirmed to PEOPLE, adding, “Harry Dean is survived by family and friends who loved him.”

Through his acting credits, Stanton worked with some of the best in the business, most recently reprising his role as Carl Rodd in Twin Peaks: The Return. His filmography left a meaningful impact on Hollywood, influencing and inspiring the lives of both those he worked with and many of his fans who went on to become actors, directors, and more.

As the news broke Friday afternoon, many mourned his death and commemorated his legacy on social media; actors from John Gallagher Jr. to Andie MacDowell and behind-the-scenes luminaries like Joss Whedon shared their memories of the actor, who many called “legendary.”

I worked with him on Avengers "Assembled" which was one of those magical once in a lifetime career moments where you are standing next to a giant and a legend and sharing a frame with him and sharing your heart with him and sharing a precious moment with him. We spent the entire day together running lines talking about the scene, talking about wanting to find something to do together in the future. Today that is no longer a possibility. These magical moments, the ones that whisper to you their importance as they are happening. The ones that jump out and tell you that you are in a rarefied space, that imprint deeper than other memories or experiences, that lock themselves in and become a part of the patch work of stories that ones calls a "Life", they are such precious things. It's easy to take for granted at the time how precious they are, one believes there will be another go at it, another chance to catch the light of a star in the palm of your hand in the span of an afternoon while working on a major motion picture, tucked off from the others, in a sacred cinematic space, where time is inconsequential and there is no camera, and their is no crew, and there are no words, there is only truth and listening and talking. That is what it was like with Harry. His humility, his commitment to acting, his generosity of spirit his kindly vulnerability were all exceptional. He was an exceptional man and I am honored to say that i got to share the screen with him albeit briefly. To date, it is still one of my favorite moments in film making. Today I treasure it even more. When we left each other that day we said, "See you again. I look forward to it." That never came to pass, but he passed away I wish we had a chance to do it all again. So long Harry Dean, thank you for the gift of your films, your music and your being. God broke the mold on you. Rest In Peace. Poet.

A post shared by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

The official Twin Peaks account also shared an official statement from series creator David Lynch, saying, “There’s nobody like Harry Dean. Everyone loved him. And with good reason. He was a great actor (actually beyond great) — and a great human being — so great to be around him!!!”

Jon Cryer, who worked with Stanton on Pretty in Pink, tweeted, “Was an honor, man” with a black-and-white photograph of the two on set in 1986. Stanton also later appeared as himself on an episode of Cryer’s sitcom Two and a Half Men. 

Read below for a sampling of tweets honoring the late actor.

Director Edgar Wright wrote, “RIP to the legendary Harry Dean Stanton. Impossible to cover his legacy in brief but here’s a few favs: ‘Alien’, ‘Paris Texas’, ‘Repo Man’,” in his tribute to the late great actor.

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