Dennis Hopper Passes Away at the Age of 74

Reuters is reporting Dennis Hopper, the Oscar nominated actor of Easy Rider and Hoosiers passed away today at his home in Venice, California, from complications of prostate cancer.

Hopper became the source of many articles back in early April while going through a quarrelsome divorce with his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, and it was made known he was too ill to even appear in court. In a fond look back at the actor, writer and director’s career Manohla Dargis at The New York Times wrote back on April 7:

Dennis Hopper – actor, filmmaker, photographer, art collector, world-class burnout, first-rate survivor – never blew it. Unlike the villains and freaks he has played over the decades – the psycho with the mommy complex in Blue Velvet, the mad bomber with the grudge in Speed – he has made it through the good, the bad and some spectacularly terrible times. He rode out the golden age of Hollywood by roaring into a new movie era with Easy Rider. He hung out with James Dean, played Elizabeth Taylor’s son, acted for Quentin Tarantino. He has been rich and infamous, lost and found, the next big thing, the last man standing.

The first time I can remember noticing Hopper was as Shooter in 1986’s Hoosiers and then, of course, as the mad terrorist in Speed, and while I’ve seen pretty much all of his classics, I didn’t have a major cinematic connection to the actor who’s probably best known for co-writing, directing and starring opposite Peter Fonda in Easy Rider.

Other films include True Grit, Apocalypse Now, Cool Hand Luke, True Romance and Waterworld. I remember his small role in Giant in 1956, as Goon in Rebel Without a Cause and only in 2008 caught his performance in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and opened up a discussion of the film that wasn’t first responded to until March of this year. Hopper is survived by four children and his voice will be heard in the upcoming Lionsgate animated feature Alpha and Omega on September 17.

I’ll leave you with the following clip from Blue Velvet.

… and one more short one …


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