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Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper

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Carried Away ... Carried Away, from the author of Legends of the Fall, will sweep you away in an... more info $14.95was $17.99 Buy Now

The Trip ... With The Trip, Roger Corman delves deep inside the mind of the artist. TV... more info $16.95was $29.95 Buy Now

Chattahoochee ... Emmett Foley (Gary Oldman, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Dark... more info $14.95was $19.95 Buy Now

Blood Red ... Blood Red, starring Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider),... more info $17.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Lassie Come Home / National... This TCM double feature includes two movies starring Elizabeth Taylor: Lassie... more info $6.95was $12.98 Buy Now

Rebel Without a Cause ... In one of moviedom's most influential roles, James Dean is Jim, the new kid in... more info $21.95was $27.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Dennis Lee Hopper Died: May 29, 2010
Born: May 17, 1936 Cause of Death: Prostate cancer/Liver failure
Birth Place: Dodge City, Kansas, USA Profession: director, actor, screenwriter, painter, photographer, artist, boxer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

in "Tracks" (1976). After "The American Friend" (1977), directed by Wim Wenders, which helped initiate the process of his rehabilitation as a talent, Hopper traveled to West Germany to make "Couleur chair" (1977); then to France for "The Apprentice Sorcerers" (1977) and "L'Ordre et la Securite du Monde" (1978).By the late 1970s, Hopper's drug habits - which included massive amounts of cocaine to keep him upright enough to continue drinking - and erratic behavior had virtually sent him into exile, though at the time, he seemed to revel in the role of the ugly American. He did, however, manage to make one of his more memorable appearances in years with "Apocalypse Now" (1979), playing a flipped-out, rhapsodizing photojournalist living in the camp of the infamous Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who attaches himself to the military operative (Martin Sheen) sent to kill Kurtz. Despite Hopper's amusingly manic performance, there was no way to ignore the fact that he was on the verge of an incredible downfall. While acting in "Out of the Blue" (1980), a Canadian film shot in the U.S., Hopper managed to sneak back behind the camera and took over direction of the film in mid-production. After managing to...

in "Tracks" (1976). After "The American Friend" (1977), directed by Wim Wenders, which helped initiate the process of his rehabilitation as a talent, Hopper traveled to West Germany to make "Couleur chair" (1977); then to France for "The Apprentice Sorcerers" (1977) and "L'Ordre et la Securite du Monde" (1978).

By the late 1970s, Hopper's drug habits - which included massive amounts of cocaine to keep him upright enough to continue drinking - and erratic behavior had virtually sent him into exile, though at the time, he seemed to revel in the role of the ugly American. He did, however, manage to make one of his more memorable appearances in years with "Apocalypse Now" (1979), playing a flipped-out, rhapsodizing photojournalist living in the camp of the infamous Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who attaches himself to the military operative (Martin Sheen) sent to kill Kurtz. Despite Hopper's amusingly manic performance, there was no way to ignore the fact that he was on the verge of an incredible downfall. While acting in "Out of the Blue" (1980), a Canadian film shot in the U.S., Hopper managed to sneak back behind the camera and took over direction of the film in mid-production. After managing to complete roles in "Rumble Fish" (1983) and "The Osterman Weekend" (1983), Hopper finally hit rock bottom. In 1983, a strung out and hallucinating Hopper stumbled naked along a Mexican highway, as weird visions of space ships and World War III consumed his mind. He was eventually picked up by the police, sent back to the United States and institutionalized.

Hopper checked himself into rehab and began to sober up. Though often associated with drugs, Hopper's main addiction was to alcohol. Meanwhile, he began his second career revival in earnest with a mesmerizing performance as the sociopathic, ether-addicted criminal Frank Booth in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986). Next, Hopper was cast as a recovering alcoholic and assistant basketball coach in the bathetic "Hoosiers" (1986). The actor seemed to find a perfect vehicle to proclaim his newfound sobriety, while receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his efforts. He followed up with another strong performance as a depraved ex-biker with a missing leg and a predilection for blow-up dolls in "River's Edge" (1987). His rehabilitation seemed complete in a triumphant return to the director's chair with "Colors" (1988), a stark urban drama about two anti-gang cops (Robert Duvall and Sean Penn) dealing with a raging war between The Bloods and The Crips in South Central Los Angeles. Hopper quickly followed with two more directing projects, "The Hot Spot" (1990), an erotic film noir starring Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen, and "Backtrack" (1990), a crime thriller that depicted him as an assassin on the hunt for a witness to a mob killing (Jodie Foster).

By the time the 1990s rolled around, Hopper had replaced his old image as the drug-crazed maniac with the profile of a regularly employed character lead in film and television, effortlessly segueing from drama to comedy; from big-budget spectacular to low-budget indies. In 1991, he appeared in Sean Penn's directorial debut, "The Indian Runner," and two made-for-cable movies, "Paris Trout" (Showtime) and "Doublecrossed" (HBO). In "Boiling Point" (1993), a lukewarm attempt to recreate a 1950s-styled crime flick, Hopper played a rather likeable loser whose desire to stay alive causes many deaths. Then in "Super Mario Brothers" (1993), based on the once-popular Nintendo video game, Hopper played a live-action version of reptilian villain King Koopa. Following a turn as a smarmy, psychotic hit man in John Dahl's "Red Rock West" (1993), Hopper delivered on of his better roles - which included one of his favorite scenes - in Tony Scott's "True Romance" (1993). As the generally sympathetic former cop father of a comic book store clerk (Christian Slater) on the run from the mob, Hopper gets tortured by the head gangster (Christopher Walken) before launching into an unforgettable Quentin Tarantino-scripted speech about the ancestry of Sicilians. Hopper also made a stir in a series of Nike commercials by playing an obsessive fan posing as an NFL referee who routinely imposes himself on various players like Bruce Smith and Sterling Sharpe. It was projects like these that made Hopper - now in his mid-fifties - an arbiter of cool among even younger audiences who had no memory of his past triumphs and travails.

By the mid-1990s, Hopper had become a reliable villain for such special effects-driven blockbusters as "Speed" (1994) and "Waterworld" (1995), while still appearing in such low-profile efforts as the comedy "Search and Destroy" (1995), playing a late-night cable guru and novelist, and the documentary "Who Is Henry Jaglom?" (1995). The nearly 60-year-old Hopper starred in the romantic melodrama "Carried Away" (1996), convincingly playing a forty-something school teacher who cares for his invalid mother and juggles a long-term, low-intensity relationship with another teacher (Amy Irving) as well as a passionate affair with a 17-year-old student (Amy Locane). It was during this film that the man who had spent a good part of his younger, drugged out days naked in public, suddenly shied away from doing a nude scene. After playing a European art dealer in Julian Schnabel's biopic "Basquiat" (1996), Hopper had starring roles in lesser features like "Space Trucker" (1997), "Meet the Deedles" (1998) and "Bad City Blues" (1999). Also in 1999, Hopper was cast as Hank, the father of Matthew McConaughey's character Ed in the comedy feature, "EdTV." Making the jump back to series television, he made a guest-starring appearance on "24" (Fox, 2001- ), playing a Balkan mercenary who hatches a personal vendetta against agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and presidential candidate, Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert).

In 2002, he joined Vin Diesel and John Malkovich for the Brian Koppelman and David Levien comedy "Knockaround Guys," then played a corrupt accountant being protected from a notorious crime lord (Simon Majiba) in "The Target" (2002). Continuing to appear in just about anything that came his way, Hopper had starring roles in the romantic comedy "All the Way" (2003), the crime thriller "Out of Season" (2004), and the coming-of-age drama "Americano" (2005). Hopper landed a rare regular series role on television, playing a colonel in the Joints Chief of Staff at the Pentagon in the short-lived military drama, "E-Ring" (NBC, 2005-06). Back to features, he had supporting roles in "Land of the Dead" (2005) and "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" (2005), then appeared in the little-seen psychological thriller "Memory" (2007). Following a cameo in "Entourage" (HBO, 2004- ), Hopper returned to another regular series role, starring in the small screen adaptation of Paul Haggis' "Crash" (Starz, 2008- ), which examined how racial and social issues intersected in various power struggles in Los Angeles. Hopper played lewd record producer Ben Cendars, a self-destructive man struggling to get back on top of his game. It was not long after his move to television that Hopper revealed to the public that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. A brief rush to the hospital from "flu-like symptoms" in late 2009 made headlines, but he appeared to recover quickly before disappearing from the public eye. In January 2010, amidst rumors that his health was declining rapidly, he filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, after 18 years of marriage and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He passed away from prostate cancer on May 29, 2010. Meanwhile, the acting offers became fewer and farther between, while Hopper began to fade into obscurity as the 1970s progressed. He starred as an Australian gold-digger forced into a life of crime in "Mad Dog" (1976), then played a Vietnam veteran traveling the United States in an increasingly rabid state of paranoia

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Chasers (1994) Director
2.
  Backtrack (1990) Director
3.
  Hot Spot, The (1990) Director
4.
  Colors (1988) Director
5.
  Out of the Blue (1982) Director
6.
  The Last Movie (1971) Director
7.
  Easy Rider (1969) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Alpha and Omega (2010)
2.
 Generation 68 (2008)
3.
 Elegy (2008)
4.
6.
7.
 Sleepwalking (2008)
9.
 Hell Ride (2008)
10.
 Swing Vote (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised on a farm in Dodge City, KS
1949:
Moved with family to San Diego, CA
:
After high school acted with the Pasadena Playhouse in California
1955:
Film acting debut in "Rebel Without a Cause" starring James Dean
1955:
Made TV debut on an episode of "Medic" (NBC) as a young epileptic
1956:
Again cast opposite Dean in "Giant"
1958:
Involved in legendary conflict with director Henry Hathaway on the set of "From Hell to Texas"; reportedly did over 100 takes of a simple scene before giving the requested line reading
1958:
Dropped from contract at Warner Bros.; left Hollywood for New York and studied acting with Lee Strasberg for five years
:
Began career as photographer; appeared in Andy Warhol's "Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of" (1963)
:
Starred on Broadway in "Mandingo" with Franchot Tone
1963:
First feature starring role, "Night Tide"; written and directed by Curtis Harrington
1967:
First collaboration with Peter Fonda, "The Trip"; a low-budget cult film directed by Roger Corman
1969:
Feature directing and co-writing debut (also co-starred), "Easy Rider"; shared Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern
1971:
Credited as co-writer of documentary about himself, "The American Dreamer"
1971:
Made the financially and critically failed, "The Last Movie" with Peter Fonda and Michelle Phillips; film's only success was winning the Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival
:
Acted in several low budget, independent films
1979:
Won renewed attention for small but showy role in Francis Coppola's "Apocalypse Now"
1986:
Acted in the controversial role of Frank, a nitrous oxide sniffing thug, in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"
1986:
Earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his protrayal of an alcoholic basketball fan in "Hoosiers"
1988:
Directed the critically acclaimed feature "Colors" starring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn
:
Exhibited photography in USA, Tokyo and Europe
1990:
Helmed (also co-starred) the noir romance "Catchfire"; removed his name after post-production trouble (credited under the fictional pseudonym Alan Smithee)
1991:
Acted in Sean Penn's feature directorial debut "The Indian Runner"
1991:
Earned an Emmy nomination for Showtime's "Paris Trout"
1994:
Had villainous role as a mad bomber in the hit film "Speed"
1995:
Played the villain, Deacon in "Waterworld"
1995:
Was the subject of the documentary "Dennis Hopper: L.A. Blues"
1996:
Displayed romantic side in a richly realized, change-of-pace characterization of a Midwestern farmer in "Carried Away"
1997:
Cast as Mickey Wayne in "The Blackout"
1998:
Portrayed Frank Slater in the comedy feature "Meet The Deedles"
1999:
Played Matthew McConaughey's father in "Edtv"
2001:
Portrayed villain Victor Drazen in the first season of the FOX series "24"
2002:
Cast in the crime comedy "Knockaround Guys"
2003:
Starred as Frank in Steve Balderson's thriller, "Firecracker"
2004:
Appeared on the NBC's "Las Vegas" as head of the Montecito Hotel and Casino's sister operation in Louisiana
2006:
Starred in "10th and Wolf" an indie film based on a story by Bobby Moresco and Chazz Palminteri
2007:
Cast opposite Billy Zane in the psychological thriller, "Memory"
2008:
Co-starred with Charlize Theron and Nick Stahl in the indie drama, "Sleepwalking"
2010:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2010:
Voiced the character of Tony in the animated feature, "Alpha and Omega"; his final feature film project
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Helix High School: La Mesa , California -
Old Globe Theatre: San Diego , California -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

In a 1996 interview, Hopper revealed that he was suing Peter Fonda, his "Easy Rider" co-star and co-writer, because his old friend supposedly failed to live up to their agreement to share equally in the film's profits.

He had his first museum showing of his paintings in February 2001.

Hopper was invited to participate in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. Twelve of his color photographs were selected for exhibition.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Brooke Hayward. Married in 1961; divorced in 1969; daughter of agent-producer Leland Hayward and actor Margaret Sullavan; author of family memoir "Haywire"; had been previously married and had two children by her first husband; later married Peter Duchin.
wife:
Michelle Phillips. Singer, actor. Married for eight days in 1970.
wife:
Daria Halprin. Therapist, former actor. Married in 1972; divorced in 1976.
wife:
Katherine LaNasa. Actor, ballet dancer, choreographer. Born c. 1966; married in June 1989; separated in April 1992; divorced; met in 1987; formerly a principal dancer with the Karole Armitage Ballet of New York; later married actor French Stewart.
wife:
Victoria Duffy. Together since 1992; married on April 13, 1996; born c. 1971.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Marin Hopper. Born on June 26, 1962; mother, Brooke Hayward.
daughter:
Ruthana Hopper. Born c. 1974; mother, Daria Halprin.
son:
Henry Lee Hopper. Born in September 1990; mother, Katherine LaNasa.
granddaughter:
Violet. Born October 13, 2002; mother Marin.
daughter:
Galen Grier Hopper. Born March 26, 2003; mother Victoria Duffy.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Out of the Sixties"
"Dennis Hopper: From Method to Madness" Walker Art Center

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