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Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper

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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

Once relishing in his image as a drug-addled rebel of the 1960s counterculture, Dennis Hopper overcame years of substance abuse and a string of mediocre films to cement his reputation as one of Hollywood's most prolific and unpredictable actors. Following his screen debut alongside the original Hollywood bad boy, mentor James Dean, in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), Hopper nearly shot his career in the foot because of his penchant for being difficult on set. When he returned to Los Angeles after a stint making television in New York, Hopper scored a critical and commercial success as the director, writer and one of the stars of "Easy Rider" (1969), perhaps one of the most culturally impactful film ever made. But his subsequent descent into self-indulgence, drugs and alcohol derailed his career yet again and served as a lively cautionary tale about the excesses of 1970s Hollywood. Finally reaching sobriety in the early 1980s, Hopper re-emerged as a sober, hard-working, middle-aged character actor who made a stunning comeback with standout performances in "Blue Velvet" (1986), "Rivers Edge" (1987) and "True Romance" (1993), all of which transformed the once-reckless rebel into a well-respected veteran...

Once relishing in his image as a drug-addled rebel of the 1960s counterculture, Dennis Hopper overcame years of substance abuse and a string of mediocre films to cement his reputation as one of Hollywood's most prolific and unpredictable actors. Following his screen debut alongside the original Hollywood bad boy, mentor James Dean, in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), Hopper nearly shot his career in the foot because of his penchant for being difficult on set. When he returned to Los Angeles after a stint making television in New York, Hopper scored a critical and commercial success as the director, writer and one of the stars of "Easy Rider" (1969), perhaps one of the most culturally impactful film ever made. But his subsequent descent into self-indulgence, drugs and alcohol derailed his career yet again and served as a lively cautionary tale about the excesses of 1970s Hollywood. Finally reaching sobriety in the early 1980s, Hopper re-emerged as a sober, hard-working, middle-aged character actor who made a stunning comeback with standout performances in "Blue Velvet" (1986), "Rivers Edge" (1987) and "True Romance" (1993), all of which transformed the once-reckless rebel into a well-respected veteran of the silver screen.

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.
 Swing Vote (2008)
3.
4.
 Elegy (2008)
6.
 Sleepwalking (2008)
7.
 Hell Ride (2008)
8.
10.
 Generation 68 (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.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

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

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