Counterculture Icon Dennis Hopper Dies At 74

Dennis Hopper, who appeared in more than 200 movies and television dramas during his career but is remembered best for his role in the '60s' counterculture film Easy Rider , died in the Venice area of Los Angeles Saturday at the age of 74 from prostate cancer. A contemporary of James Dean (the two studied acting at New York's famed Actors Studio), Hopper appeared with Dean in 1995's Rebel Without a Cause and, the following year, in Giant . But 13 years of routine movie and TV roles ensued before he became an overnight film sensation as the director, co-writer (with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and co-star (with Fonda and Jack Nicholson) of 1969's Easy Rider. The success of the movie, made for less than $1 million, established Hopper as a Hollywood wunderkind, and Hollywood turned to him to show it the way. They eagerly bestowed another $1 million on him to devise a follow-up counterculture paean. But Hopper, reportedly high on assorted designer drugs that he bought with his newfound wealth, contrived a film that only an acid head could appreciate. It was titled The Last Movie , and for a time it seemed that it might also be Hopper's last movie. The film opened in a single theater in New York in 1971 and quickly closed. Aside from a handful of festivals it has never been seen in a theater since. The wonder is that Hopper's career survived that debacle at all. An even greater wonder is that it survived his numerous bouts with drugs and alcohol over the years. For he continued to appear in films, albeit almost always as a crazed villain, a druggy, or an alcoholic, virtually until the end. He even received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in 1986 for his performance as an alcoholic basketball coach in Hoosiers . In its obituary today, Britain's Guardian newspaper recalled that Hopper once remarked "There are moments that I've had some real brilliance, you know. ... And sometimes, in a career, moments are enough."

31/05/2010


Contactmusic

Tags: Dennis Hopper - Hoosiers - Jack Nicholson - James Dean


Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Contrary To Her Song Lyrics, Lana Del Rey Worked Her Way To The Top

Lana Del Rey is no stranger to vicious rumours, but she definitely did not...

Contrary To Her Song Lyrics, Lana Del Rey Worked Her Way To The Top

Weird Al Scores First U.S Number 1 With New Album

The album was released only one week ago and sold 103,000 copies to secure the top...

Weird Al Scores First U.S Number 1 With New Album

Peaches Geldof's Cause of Death Confirmed as Heroin Overdose

The second daughter of musician Bob Geldof, Peaches Geldof was thrust...

Peaches Geldof's Cause of Death Confirmed as Heroin Overdose

Robert Downey Jr.IS Iron Man... But For How Long?

You know who he is. Robert Downey Jr.’s involvement in the Iron Man franchise has been...

Robert Downey Jr.IS Iron Man... But For How Long?

Hercules Extended Trailer

Following his deadly ordeal of being put through the Twelve Labours by his father Zeus and his...

Hercules Trailer

Miley Cyrus Appears in Pharrell's New Video 'Come Get It Bae'

Cyrus also features on the track's vocals, and -perhaps most shockingly of all- resists...

Miley Cyrus Appears in Pharrell's New Video 'Come Get It Bae'
Advertisement

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

We live in a movie world of superheroes at the moment with franchise...

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has been a huge success both critically...

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]

Max Max: Fury Road was one of the most anticipated films at the...

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]


More recommendations

Advertisement

Comments

Dennis Hopper Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Dennis Hopper

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All