Dennis Hopper's art collection will be sold at auction next week.

The 'Apocalypse Now' star - who died of cancer last year aged 74 - wanted his pieces, including works by Bruce Conner, Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman, to be sold off after his death and the money to go to his four children because it would be too difficult for them to distribute it between them.

Family friend Alex Hitz - who is also a trustee of the late actor's estate - said: "It was Dennis' wish to sell everything. How do you cut a Warhol and all those other wonderful pieces by four?"

Christie's Auction House director of iconic collections Cathy Elkies is looking after the sale and she said Dennis' California home was filled "literally from floor to ceiling with art" admitting that "realistically" his children, daughters Marin, Ruthanna and Galen and son Henry Lee, "couldn't Take That on."

However, Cathy revealed they were expected to keep some pieces which held sentimental value including their father's own photography and paintings.

One notable piece up for auction is an Andy Warhol print of Chinese dictator Mao Zedong, which the late actor shot two bullets through in the early 1970s.

Alex explained: "One night in The Shadows, Dennis, out of the corner of his eyes, saw the Mao and he was so spooked by it that he got up and shot at it, twice, putting two bullet holes in it. Andy saw it, loved it and annotated those holes labelling them 'warning shot' and 'bullet hole'.

Dennis' Hollywood Walk Of Fame star, posters from the movies he starred in, including 'Blue Velvet' and 'Speed', a 158-page unbound 'Easy Rider' script, with extensive handwritten notes and a poster from the same film will all be included in the sale, which is due to take place in New York on January 11 and 12.