Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper
Universal Pictures


Dennis Hopper
Film: South side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Director
Born Dennis Lee Hopper on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kan.
Died May 29, 2010 of prostate cancer in Venice, CA

Actor Dennis Hopper became one of the iconic figures of the 1960s and ’70s counterculture with his directing debut, “Easy Rider.” The 1969 biker road movie starred Hopper and Peter Fonda and is regarded as the first film in Hollywood’s ’70s renaissance.

Hopper’s follow-up film, “The Last Movie” was a critical and popular bomb that stalled his filmmaking career for years. At the same time, his increased drug and alcohol abuse wreaked havoc with his personal life. Between 1961 and 1976 he was married and divorced three times.

In 1983, Hopper performed the Russian Dynamite Death Chair stunt in front of a group of Rice University students in Houston, Texas. He sat in the middle of a race track and detonated sticks of dynamite around him without dying. Soon after, he checked into a rehab facility.

Francis Ford Coppola gave Hopper a notable role in his 1979 Vietnam epic “Apocalypse Now,” but it wasn’t until his scene-stealing appearance as villain Frank Booth in David Lynch’s 1986 film “Blue Velvet” that Hopper’s acting career really took off again. Throughout the rest of the ’80s and ’90s and into the new millennium, Hopper played many character roles (mostly villains) in some high-profile projects, including “Speed” and the first season of “24.”

In addition to his acting and directing, Hopper pursued a career as an artist – first with photography and later with painting and sculpture.

In October 2009, Hopper announced he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer. Soon after, he began divorce proceedings from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, which quickly became contentious.

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1969 Best Original Screenplay Easy Rider Nomination*
    1986 Best Supporting Actor Hoosiers Nomination
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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