Dennis Hopper
American actor
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors' Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant (1956). During the next 10 years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960s had played supporting roles in several films.
Biography
Dennis Hopper's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Dennis Hopper from around the web
'The Last Film Festival' is not a fitting tribute to Dennis Hopper
LATimes - 5 months
The late Dennis Hopper’s IMDB acting credits are 200-strong, but any qualitative ranking of those titles would put his last completed movie, “The Last Film Festival,” somewhere at the bottom. A thoroughly amateurish un-comedy about show business, it was filmed in 2009, but its notions of Hollywood...
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LATimes article
The Writing Life: The Past Never Leaves You, Or Does It?
Huffington Post - 6 months
I have often said that my worst professional mistake was leaving the clangorous world of daily newspapers for magazines and book writing. Of course, that was back in 1985, a very different time for the media, and for the world. The digital era had not yet dawned, and we "hacks" - as print journalists, particularly foreign correspondents, were known - scrambled around in search of stories. We then scrambled around some more to find a post office with a telex machine to file our dispatches to our home offices. No email in those days, no satellite phones either. Your dispatches depended on the caprice of the telex operation. He was more influenced by the graft you gave than the novelty, timeliness and piquancy of your stories. My search for stories took me to Africa, where the New York Times had posted me in the lovely Kenyan capital of Nairobi. From there I crisscrossed the vast continent. I felt a little bit like Marlow, the narrator of "Heart of Darkness," the celebrated novella ...
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Huffington Post article
Sean Penn Wanted To Give His Son Hopper A Truly Rare First Name
Huffington Post - 9 months
If you thought George Costanza's attempt to name his child Seven on "Seinfeld" was bad, just remember it could be a lot worse.  Hopper Penn, the son of Sean Penn and Robin Wright, opened up about his unusual first name in Interview magazine and ended up revealing a lot more than we bargained for.  "It has to do with Dennis Hopper; my dad was friendly with him and idolized him," Hopper said. "My dad wanted to name me Steak, the food, because he loves it so much."   No offense to anyone named Steak (Do you exist?!), but to anyone outside of Los Angeles or certain celebrity circles, that name sounds like it's meant to be made fun of. Luckily, Wright, Penn's now ex-wife, was having none of it.  "But my mom was never going to go for it," Hopper said. "What they told me is that I hopped in her stomach, I didn't kick, so they went with that."  Though if Hopper was named Steak, we bet he'd get along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's daughter, Apple.  The 22-year-old i ...
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Huffington Post article
A Talk with Barbara Hershey About Her Long-standing Career
Huffington Post - 10 months
Barbara Hershey is a multi-award winning actress who has been gracing us with her presence on the big screen for quite some time. She is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a "Killing in a Small Town" and was nominated for an Academy Award for a "Portrait of a Lady" as well as a BAFTA award for "Black Swan". In the 1980's Barbara was at the height of her career. She has played many roles, from "The Stunt Man", "The Right Stuff" to "Hannah and Her Sisters" with Woody Allen, and "Hoosiers" with Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper, Barbara is the epitome of what it takes to have a lifetime career pursuing your dreams and doing what you love. From her award winning role in "Anne of Green Gables" for PBS for which she received a Gemini Award to co-starring opposite of Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson in "Insidious" Barbara's gift of acting is beyond amazing. I had an opportunity to speak with Barbara about her long-standing career and to find out what's next ...
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Huffington Post article
The Elusive and Sometimes Funny Quest for the Perfect Photographer Job Title
Chicago Times - about 1 year
On the hunt….©2016 Alex Garcia Are you a Chief Visual Brand Storyteller? An Editorial and Advertising Photographer? A Senior Visual Content Specialist? A Multimedia Photojournalist/Video journalist? Or, maybe “Lead Picture Guru”? If you’re a professional photographer, you’ve probably pondered, paused or even struggled to figure out how you should describe yourself on your business card, social media profile, or during an elevator pitch. How you refer to yourself often depends on your audience. But in person or especially online, you’re both unsure of their specific need and their sophistication with imprecise job titles. If I introduce myself with the term “photojournalist”, someone may see me as the crazed Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now or clueless Jimmy Olsen from Superman, depending on their Netflix history. Getting past the strange depictions of photojournalists out there, there is a huge creative difference between a photojournalist who uses studio lighting ...
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Chicago Times article
Robert Berman Gallery Takes Us Back in Time to Recreate a Legendary Art Party!
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Take a step back in time to 1963... ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY recreates a legendary art event...the long awaited retrospective of the conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp captured by famed photographer Julian Wasser. After a successful show at the San Francisco location of the ROBERT BERMAN Gallery, "Julian Wasser: Duchamp in Pasadena Redux" comes to Bergamot Station, in Santa Monica on Saturday, January 16, 2016. Image courtesy of ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY: Julian Wasser, Chess Match with Eve Babitz and Marcel Duchamp at the Duchamp Retrospective Pasadena Art Museum, 1963 © Julian Wasser The exhibition features the photography of Julian Wasser in addition to an installation of appropriations of Duchamp's work from the original exhibition created by LA based artist Gregg Gibbs and other appropriation artists. A centerpiece for the show is a life-sized recreation of the infamous photo...Duchamp and nude, Eve Babitz playing chess. Other known works created by Duchamp that have been appropria ...
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Huffington Post article
Q&A: Filmmaker Alex Cox on 'Tombstone Rashomon,' 'Repo Man,' and 'Sid and Nancy'
Huffington Post - about 1 year
When tallying the adjectives used to describe filmmaker Alex Cox, the term "maverick" is probably at the top of the list. This is an accurate word to describe him, given that his movies are about wily repo men on hot pursuit of a $20,000 reward for a possessed '64 Chevy Malibu that zaps to death the people who open its trunk, a love story of two punk junkies on their last legs, as well as a Spaghetti Western spoof high on surrealistic violence and short on tempers (and that's just his first three features). Collaborating with the likes of immortals Joe Strummer, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, and Elvis Costello, Cox was able to get more rock stars in a room than a gaggle of groupies. In late 1987, he directed Walker, a biopic of American soldier of fortune and filibuster William Walker, who invaded Mexico in the 1850s and made himself President of Nicaragua shortly thereafter. Cox threw in modern anachronisms (Walker appears on the covers of Newsweek and Time; Zippo lighters ignite; a Me ...
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Huffington Post article
The Time Actress Illeana Douglas Made Marlon Brando Cry
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Illeana Douglas has been a Hollywood fixture since the mid-'80s, but it was through her then-boyfriend, Martin Scorsese, that the actress had a moment she'll never forget with the legendary actor Marlon Brando. Douglas was meeting Brando for the first time at a restaurant, and the actress was so nervous, she "couldn't look at him," she told HuffPost Live in a Monday conversation. "I was sort of darting out of the corner of my eye, looking at him." "When I finally did lock eyes [with] him, I literally just burst out crying," she continued. "This flood of emotion came out." Douglas, who recently published the memoir I Blame Dennis Hopper, went on to profess her admiration to the "Godfather" actor, telling him "everything I am and want to be is because of you." From there, "it was like the earth started to move," she recounted. "We just got tuned into each other and then he started crying," she recalled. "Suddenly, we were just on this wave of emotion where we reall ...
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Huffington Post article
Disposable Camera Street Photography - Yes, Really!
Huffington Post - over 1 year
All Photographs (c) Michael Ernest Sweet In the age of gear craze, I must be simply just crazy to balk at everything and shoot with a disposable, right? Well, maybe. Despite the seemingly nonsensical philosophy, I did do just that - moved away from all gear, except for a crate full of Fujifilm QuickSnaps. While this adventure has been trying at times, I truly do believe that these little $5 cameras brought be back from the edge of artistic crisis. I am not the inventor of this idea, to be clear, although, I may be one of the first to embark on a long-term and serious street photography project with a disposable camera. Other photographers, from other genres, have certainly gravitated toward this little plastic liberation device in the past. For example, there is Dennis Hopper's Drugstore Camera, which I highly recommend. Liberation was indeed what I was seeking. After years of working with every kind of digital camera, and film camera, I simply hit ro ...
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Huffington Post article
Harley stock is getting punished. Down 9%
CNN - almost 2 years
Investors looking for adventure and whatever comes their way like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider" were hopefully not doing so with Harley-Davidson stock on Tuesday.
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CNN article
Filmmaker turning to Kickstarter to finish Dennis Hopper's last film
Fox News - almost 2 years
A filmmaker is hoping her New York City hometown and fans of the late actor Dennis Hopper will help her finally finish Hopper's last movie, The Queens Courier reported.
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Fox News article
ABC's classic western 'The Rifleman' takes aim again via DVD
LATimes - about 3 years
The first season of the classic ABC western series "The Rifleman," which aired from 1958 to '63, has arrived on DVD. The set marks the first time all 40 episodes of the series, which starred Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain, a Civil War vet and widowed father of young Mark (Johnny Crawford), have been presented in sequence of their original telecast. Created by Arnold Laven and developed by Sam Peckinpah, who wrote and directed several episodes, "The Rifleman" was an immediate success. The series, which also airs on ME-TV, featured such guest stars as James Coburn, Dennis Hopper, Michael Landon, Harry Dean Stanton and Robert Vaughn. For more information go to http://www.therifleman.net . Pictured: Chuck Connors of "The Rifleman."     
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LATimes article
Will Forte Can't Believe He's in <i>Nebraska</i>
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Will Forte didn't worry about getting the role in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" because he assumed he didn't have a chance. Then Payne cast him as half of what is partly a two-man road movie - opposite notorious scene-stealer Bruce Dern. "It was the most surprising wonderful moment," Forte says. "Then the fear set in." Fear? Here's Forte who, having achieved his career goal by joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 2002, left the show with no real careers aims or goals - and zero aspirations as an "actor." No experience either, for that matter. Forte never acted in high school or college, though when he went to work at a brokerage after college at UCLA, it was mostly because that's what his father did. "I think I knew I would love to go into comedy," Forte says, though he'd never done it before. Similarly, though he'd never played a role like the one in "Nebraska," he got his agent to submit a tape of him doing a couple of scenes. Four months later, he was called i ...
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Huffington Post article
Interview with poet Michael McClure
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Michael McClure, 81, might be the most photogenic of all the Beat Generation writers, and maybe the most beautiful of the young male poets who stormed North Beach when City Lights was a bookstore no bigger than the proverbial hole-in-the-wall. [...] more than any other Beat poet, he's been wild about wild beasts, both real and imaginary, as in his illustrated book for children, "The Boobus and the Bunnyduck" and in "For the Death of 100 Whales," a kind of funeral dirge that he read at the historic Six Gallery poetry jamboree in 1955 that launched the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Written in conversational English and in a guttural "beast language" that he created, "Ghost Tantras" begins rambunctiously and ends on a note of tranquillity. The new edition includes a spirited introduction by McClure in which he takes readers behind the scenes and describes the process of spontaneous creativity that gave birth to the poems. All in all, there's no other book of poetry like "Ghost Tan ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Bankers Awaken
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Last week, Goldman Sachs was in the news... again! They aren't in financial trouble, no! They aren't bringing the world down with them, no. And they aren't even involved in a scam or scandal that requires them to depose before Congress and pay a gigantic fine. It's none of the above. In fact, Goldman was in the news last week, because it announced that for the first time in its history (and probably the history of the banking industry), that bankers had developed a soul; their conscience had woken up. The executive and senior management team at Goldman announced that going forward, they would encourage their junior bankers to take weekends off (and hopefully enjoy a better work-life balance). I wonder why it was such a big deal though? Aren't weekends supposed to be off anyway? Isn't this what "normal" people do? Isn't this how it is supposed to be: You work Monday to Friday and then have Saturday and Sunday off? Was it news because it was Goldman that did it, or was it ne ...
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Huffington Post article
Keanu Reeves Calls the Shots
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Keanu Reeves first caught the eye of audiences and critics in Tim Hunter's incendiary 1986 film River's Edge, playing a suburban high school burn-out struggling to find his moral center after his best friend murders a classmate. Reeves went on to carve a unique and prolific filmography over the next 27 years, in such diverse hits as Bill &amp; Ted's Excellent Adventure, Dangerous Liaisons, My Own Private Idaho, Little Buddha, Point Break, Speed and the Matrix Trilogy. 2013 finds Keanu Reeves bowing with his directorial debut, Man of Tai-Chi, a muscular martial arts adventure set and filmed in contemporary China. Starring legendary Hong Kong actor/stuntman Tiger Hu Chen as an impoverished young man who uses his deadly martial arts skills in lucrative underground fights, Reeves co-stars in one of his few villainous turns as the corporate kingpin behind the pay-per-view death matches. The Radius-TWC release hits theaters and on-demand simultaneously today, November 1. Reeves spo ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dennis Hopper
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2010
    Age 73
    In April 2010, Deitch confirmed that Hopper's work, curated by Julian Schnabel, will indeed be the focus of his debut at MOCA.
    More Details Hide Details The title of the exhibition, Double Standard, was taken from Hopper's iconic 1961 photograph of the two Standard Oil signs seen through an automobile windshield at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and North Doheny Drive on historic Route 66 in Los Angeles. The image was reproduced on the invitation for Ed Ruscha's second solo exhibition at Ferus Gallery in 1964. On March 5, 2013, HarperCollins will publish a biography on Hopper by American writer Tom Folsom, Hopper: A Journey into the American Dream. On the Gorillaz album Demon Days, Hopper narrates the song "Fire Coming out of the Monkey's Head". In the late 1980s Hopper purchased a trio of nearly identical two-story, loft-style condominiums at 330 Indiana Avenue in Venice Beach, California — one made of concrete, one of plywood, and one of green roofing shingles — built by Frank Gehry and two artist friends of Hopper's, Chuck Arnoldi and Laddie John Dill, in 1981. In 1987, he commissioned an industrial-style main residence, with a corrugated metal exterior designed by Brian Murphy, as a place to display his artwork.
    In March 2010, it was announced that Hopper was on the "short list" for Jeffrey Deitch's inaugural show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).
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    His funeral took place on June 3, 2010 at San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.
    More Details Hide Details His body was buried in Jesus Nazareno Cemetery, Ranchos de Taos. The film Alpha and Omega, which was his last film role, was dedicated to him, as was the 2011 film Restless, which starred his son Henry Hopper. The moving image collection of Dennis Hopper is held at the Academy Film Archive. The Dennis Hopper Trust Collection represents Hopper's directorial efforts. Books Articles
    By March 23, 2010 Hopper reportedly weighed only and was unable to carry on long conversations.
    More Details Hide Details According to papers filed in his divorce court case, Hopper was terminally ill and was unable to undergo chemotherapy to treat his prostate cancer.
    On March 18, 2010, he was honored with the 2,403rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
    More Details Hide Details Surrounded by friends including Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen, David Lynch, Michael Madsen, family and fans, he attended its addition to the sidewalk six days later.
    In January 2010, it was reported that Hopper's cancer had metastasized to his bones.
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    On November 14, 2010, it was revealed that, despite Duffy's earlier assertion in her court papers of February 2010 that Hopper was mentally incompetent, and that his children had rewritten his estate plan in order to leave Duffy and her daughter, Hopper's youngest child Galen, destitute, Galen would in fact receive the proceeds of 40% of his estate.
    More Details Hide Details On September 28, 2009, Hopper, then 73, was reportedly brought by ambulance to an unidentified Manhattan hospital wearing an oxygen mask and "with numerous tubes visible". On October 2, he was discharged, after receiving treatment for dehydration. On October 29, Hopper's manager reported that he had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
    On April 5, 2010, a court ruled that Duffy could continue living on Hopper's property, and that he must pay US$12,000 per month spousal and child support for their daughter Galen.
    More Details Hide Details Hopper did not attend the hearing. On May 12, 2010, a hearing was held before Judge Amy Pellman in downtown Los Angeles Superior Court. Though Hopper died two weeks later, Duffy insisted at the hearing that he was well enough to be deposed. The hearing also dealt with who to designate on Hopper's life insurance policy, which listed his wife as a beneficiary. A very ill Hopper did not appear in court though his estranged wife did – case BD518046. Despite Duffy's bid to be named the sole beneficiary of Hopper's million-dollar policy, the judge ruled against her and limited her claim to one-quarter of the policy. The remaining US$750,000 was to go to his estate.
    On March 23, 2010, he filed papers in court alleging Duffy had absconded with US$1.5 million of his art, refused his requests to return it, and then had "left town".
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    On March 9, 2010, Duffy refused to move out of the Hopper home, despite the court's order that she do so by March 15.
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    After citing her "outrageous conduct" and stating she was "insane", "inhuman" and "volatile", Hopper was granted a restraining order against her on February 11, 2010, and as a result, she was forbidden to come within of him or contact him.
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    On January 14, 2010, Hopper filed for divorce from his fifth wife Victoria Duffy.
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    For his last performance, he was the voice of Tony, the alpha-male of the Eastern wolf pack inside the 2010 3D computer animated film Alpha and Omega.
    More Details Hide Details He died before the movie was released. This brought the directors to dedicate the film to his memory at the beginning of the movie credits. Hopper filmed scenes for The Other Side of the Wind in 1971, but the film is still unreleased; as of April 5, 2016, public knowledge has held that Netflix is negotiating to acquire the film for distribution in a deal worth $5 million.
  • 2008
    Age 71
    Hopper supported Barack Obama in the 2008 US Presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Hopper confirmed this in an election day appearance on the ABC daytime show The View. He said his reason for not voting Republican was the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate.
    His last major feature film appearance was in the 2008 film Elegy with Sir Ben Kingsley, Penélope Cruz and Debbie Harry.
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    In 2008 he also played The Death in Wim Wenders' Palermo Shooting.
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    In 2008, Hopper starred in An American Carol.
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  • 2005
    Age 68
    In 2005, Hopper played Paul Kaufman in George A. Romero's Land of the Dead.
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  • 2003
    Age 66
    In 2003, Hopper was in the running for the dual lead in the indie horror drama Firecracker, but was ousted at the last minute in favor of Mike Patton.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1996
    Age 59
    And in 1996 he starred in the science fiction comedy Space Truckers directed by Stuart Gordon.
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  • 1995
    Age 58
    In 1995, Hopper played a greedy TV self-help guru, Dr. Luther Waxling in Search and Destroy.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, he starred as Deacon, the one-eyed nemesis of Kevin Costner in Waterworld.
  • 1994
    Age 57
    He co-starred in the 1994 blockbuster Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, and as magic-phobic H. P. Lovecraft in the TV movie Witch Hunt.
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  • 1993
    Age 56
    In 1993, he played Clifford Worley in True Romance.
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    The same year he starred as King Koopa in Super Mario Bros., a 1993 critical and commercial failure loosely based on the video game of the same name.
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  • 1991
    Age 54
    He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the 1991 HBO films Paris Trout and Doublecrossed (in which he played real life drug smuggler and DEA informant Barry Seal).
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  • 1988
    Age 51
    In 1988, Hopper directed the critically acclaimed Colors.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1983
    Age 46
    After staging a "suicide attempt" (really more of a daredevil act) in a coffin using 17 sticks of dynamite during an "art happening" at the Rice University Media Center (filmed by professor and documentary filmmaker Brian Huberman), and later disappearing into the Mexican desert during a particularly extravagant bender, Hopper entered a drug rehabilitation program in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details Though Hopper gave critically acclaimed performances in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Osterman Weekend (1983), it was not until he portrayed the gas-huffing, obscenity-screaming iconic villain Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) that his career truly revived. On reading the script Hopper said to Lynch: "You have to let me play Frank Booth. Because I am Frank Booth!" He won critical acclaim and several awards for this role, and in the same year received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as an alcoholic assistant basketball coach in Hoosiers.
  • 1980
    Age 43
    Stepping in for an overwhelmed director, Hopper won praise in 1980 for his directing and acting in Out of the Blue.
    More Details Hide Details Immediately thereafter, Hopper starred as an addled short-order cook "Cracker" in the Neil Young/Dean Stockwell low-budget collaboration Human Highway. Production was reportedly often delayed by his unreliable behavior. Peter Biskind states in the New Hollywood history Easy Riders, Raging Bulls that Hopper's cocaine intake had reached three grams a day by this time, complemented by 30 beers, and some marijuana and Cuba libres.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1970
    Age 33
    In between contesting Fonda's rights to the majority of the residual profits from Easy Rider, he married Michelle Phillips in October 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Hopper was able to sustain his lifestyle and a measure of celebrity by acting in numerous low budget and European films throughout the 1970s as the archetypical "tormented maniac", including Mad Dog Morgan (1976), Tracks (1976), and The American Friend (1977). With Francis Ford Coppola's blockbuster Apocalypse Now (1979), Hopper returned to prominence as a hyper-manic Vietnam-era photojournalist.
    During the tumultuous editing process, Hopper ensconced himself at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico, which he had purchased in 1970, for almost an entire year.
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  • 1968
    Age 31
    In 1968, Hopper teamed with Peter Fonda, Terry Southern and Jack Nicholson to make Easy Rider, which premiered in July 1969.
    More Details Hide Details With the release of True Grit a month earlier, Hopper had starring roles in two major box office films that summer. Hopper won wide acclaim as the director for his improvisational methods and innovative editing for Easy Rider. The production was plagued by creative differences and personal acrimony between Fonda and Hopper, the dissolution of Hopper's marriage to Hayward, his unwillingness to leave the editor's desk and his accelerating abuse of drugs and alcohol. Hopper said of Easy Rider: "The cocaine problem in the United States is really because of me. There was no cocaine before Easy Rider on the street. After Easy Rider, it was everywhere". Besides showing drug use on film, it was the first film to portray the new hippie lifestyle. Hopper became a stereotype for some male youths who rejected traditional jobs and traditional American culture, partly exemplified by Fonda's long sideburns and Hopper wearing shoulder-length hair and a long mustache. They were denied rooms in motels and proper service in restaurants as a result of their radical looks. Their long hair became a point of contention in various scenes during the film.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1961
    Age 24
    In 1961, Hopper played his first lead role in Night Tide, an atmospheric supernatural thriller involving a mermaid in an amusement park.
    More Details Hide Details In a December 1994 interview on the Charlie Rose Show, Hopper credited John Wayne with saving his career, as Hopper acknowledged that because of his insolent behavior, he could not find work in Hollywood for seven years. Hopper stated that because he was the son-in-law of actress Margaret Sullavan, a friend of John Wayne, Wayne hired Hopper for a role in The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), also directed by Hathaway, which enabled Hopper to restart his film career. Hopper acted in another John Wayne film, True Grit (1969), and during its production he became well acquainted with Wayne. In both of the films with Wayne Hopper's character is killed in the presence of Wayne's character, to whom he utters his dying words. Hopper had a supporting role as the bet-taker, "Babalugats", in Cool Hand Luke (1967).
  • 1959
    Age 22
    In 1959 Hopper moved to New York to study Method acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1956
    Age 19
    In his book Last Train to Memphis, American popular music historian Peter Guralnick says that in 1956, when Elvis Presley was making his first film in Hollywood, Hopper was roommates with fellow actor Nick Adams and the three became friends and socialized together.
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  • 1955
    Age 18
    Hopper debuted in an episode of the Richard Boone television series Medic in 1955, portraying a young epileptic.
    More Details Hide Details He appeared as an arrogant young gunfighter, the Utah Kid, in the 1956 episode "Quicksand" of the first hour-long television western television series, ABC's Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker. In the story line, the Kid gave Cheyenne Bodie no choice but to kill him in a gunfight. In 1957, he played Billy the Kid on the episode "Brannigan's Boots" of ABC's Sugarfoot, with Will Hutchins. He subsequently appeared in over 140 episodes of television shows such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, The Twilight Zone, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Defenders, The Investigators, The Legend of Jesse James, Entourage, The Big Valley, The Time Tunnel, The Rifleman in which he appeared in the premier episode as a sharpshooter and Combat! Hopper teamed with Nike in the early 1990s to make a series of television commercials. He appeared as a "crazed referee" in those ads. He portrayed villain Victor Drazen in the first season of the popular drama 24 on the Fox television network.
    Dean's death in a 1955 car accident affected the young Hopper deeply and it was shortly afterwards that he got into a confrontation with veteran director Henry Hathaway on the film From Hell to Texas.
    More Details Hide Details Hopper forced Hathaway to shoot more than 80 takes of a scene over several days before he acquiesced to Hathaway's direction. After filming was finally completed, Hathaway allegedly told Hopper that his career in Hollywood was finished.
  • 1954
    Age 17
    Hopper was reported to have an uncredited role in Johnny Guitar in 1954 but he has stated that he was not even in Hollywood when this film was made.
    More Details Hide Details Hopper made his debut on film in two roles with James Dean (whom he admired immensely) in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Born
    Hopper was born Dennis Lee Hopper on May 17, 1936, in Dodge City, Kansas, the son of Marjorie Mae (née Davis; July 12, 1917 – January 12, 2007) and James Millard Hopper (June 23, 1916 – August 7, 1982).
    More Details Hide Details He had Scottish ancestors. Hopper had two brothers, Marvin and David. After World War II, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where the young Hopper attended Saturday art classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. At the age of 13, Hopper and his family moved to San Diego, where his mother worked as a lifeguard instructor and his father was a post office manager (Hopper has acknowledged, though, that his father was in the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, in China with Mao Zedong). Hopper was voted most likely to succeed at Helix High School, where he was active in the drama club, speech and choir. It was there that he developed an interest in acting, studying at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the Actors Studio in New York City (he studied with Lee Strasberg for five years). Hopper struck up a friendship with actor Vincent Price, whose passion for art influenced Hopper's interest in art. He was especially fond of the plays of William Shakespeare.
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