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'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies

 
TCS
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05/30/2010 07:29 PM
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'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
R.I.P flower

CNN) -- Dennis Hopper, the one-time Hollywood enfant terrible who portrayed such indelible characters as "Easy Rider's" biker Billy and "Blue Velvet's" huffing villain Frank Booth, died of prostate cancer Saturday morning at his home in Venice, California, his wife said. He was 74.

Hopper, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer last October, was surrounded by his children when he died, his wife, Victoria Hopper, told CNN.

Funeral arrangements have not been decided, but Hopper's wish was to be buried in Taos, New Mexico, "his heart home," Victoria Hopper said.

The American film icon made his last public appearance on March 26, 2010, when his star was dedicated on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Over almost six decades as a performer and director, his career spanned a range of Hollywood trends: TV's live "Golden Age," films about disillusioned teenagers, a variety of Westerns, anti-establishment dramas, offbeat indie films, action blockbusters and edgy cable series. He often played villains, occasionally lost souls, almost all with a force and empathy.

There was Dennis Hopper before "Easy Rider," generally known as a clean-cut, if rebellious, character actor who had built a career of supporting roles in Westerns, youth-oriented films and TV shows.

There was Dennis Hopper after "Easy Rider," for years one of Hollywood's wild men, an actor with a penchant for alcohol, drugs and outlandish behavior, and later a go-to performer to play villains and commanding misfits.

And then there was "Easy Rider," the 1969 film that he directed and co-wrote, and in which he played a dissolute, countercultural biker named Billy. Thanks to the film, Hopper helped blaze a trail for the young, aggressive filmmakers who would take Hollywood by storm in the 1970s.

Dennis Lee Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas, on May 17, 1936. He grew up in San Diego, California, and established an early reputation for stage work.

Making his way to Hollywood while still in his teens, he quickly earned roles in TV shows and films, including "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), in which he met James Dean, who became a friend and lifelong model, Hopper once said.

Dean was "a guerrilla artist who attacked all restrictions on his sensibility. ... I imitated his style in art and in life. It got me in a lot of trouble," Hopper recalled.


Hopper also appeared in "Giant" with Dean, who died in a car accident in September 1955.

"He's the greatest actor that I ever saw. I never saw anyone that could even touch him," he told CNN's Larry King in 2005.

"He moved better than any actor. He's like an expressionist to me. He not only filled himself with emotion, but he, like -- he did things that were so unbelievably physical."

Hopper maintained a somewhat uneven career through the mid-'60s, appearing in such films as the John Wayne vehicle "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965) and the Paul Newman classic "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) as well as several TV shows -- often Westerns.

But it was 1967's psychedelic "The Trip," directed by "King of the B's" Roger Corman, that exposed the actor to an anti-establishment audience and two of his "Easy Rider" colleagues, actor Peter Fonda and "Trip" writer Jack Nicholson.

In early 1968, Hopper led the group through his own low-budget film, a biker road movie about two disenchanted riders who -- thanks to some drug money -- travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans. "A man went looking for America and couldn't find it anywhere," went the words of its famous tagline.

"Easy Rider" was finally released in the summer of 1969, and became a sensation -- after 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Graduate," the breakthrough that set free the Baby Boomer generation on Hollywood. (Ironically, another of Hopper's 1969 films was "True Grit," an old-fashioned Western that earned John Wayne an Oscar.)


[link to www.cnn.com]

Last Edited by Mister Obvious on 09/11/2011 12:18 AM
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 985053
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05/30/2010 07:31 PM
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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
bike
Jenkins

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05/30/2010 07:32 PM
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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
trio
Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.
And on that farm he had a cow, ee-i-ee-i-o.
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.
Anonymous Coward
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05/30/2010 07:32 PM
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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
wow has he died again? He died yesterday as well damned
Avant Garde

User ID: 828154
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05/30/2010 07:32 PM

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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
That guy must have nine lives
union

The chariots of God are tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands.
Max_OverDrive

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05/30/2010 07:49 PM
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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
wow has he died again? He died yesterday as well damned
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 833852


+1 he died a few times yesterday...
Based on Human Civilization-
If the past is unknown,then the present is unfounded.
In all probability, the future is uncertain.
-Max_OverDrive
Anonymous Coward
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05/30/2010 07:50 PM
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Re: 'Easy Rider' actor Dennis Hopper dies
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