Film and TV

Dennis Hopper Dies, Easy Rider Star/Director Was 74

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Sat, May 29, 2010 at 11:11 AM
click to enlarge dennishopperdieslg.jpg

Dennis Hopper has died at his home in Venice, after a battle with prostate cancer. The actor/director/artist recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his long, storied career, which included appearances in such films as Rebel Without a Cause, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet and Speed; directorial efforts Easy Rider, Colors and The Last Movie, two Oscar nominations (for writing Easy Rider and acting in Hoosiers) and swaths of personal scandal, including five marriages (he's pictured above with ex-wife Daria Halprin; singer Michelle Philips divorced him after a week; he divorced Victoria Duffy reportedly while dying), and a number of gonzo experiences with booze and drugs. He cleaned up in the early 80s, after being arrested in Mexico, where he was found wandering naked and incoherent. "Honestly, I only used to do cocaine so I could sober up and drink more," he once said of his dark years. By the '90s, he was a reliable character actor. ''I've mellowed,'' he told Entertainment Weekly in 1991. ''I've calmed down. I even voted for Bush.''

Hopper's photography will be the subject of Jeffrey Deitch's first show at MoCA, curated by artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. But this is perhaps the real testament to Hopper's lasting legacy: within thirty minutes of the announcement of his death, Hopper had claimed three worldwide trending topics on Twitter.

We'll have more on Hopper's life and work in Thursday's print issue of the Weekly.

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