Dennis Hopper was an American filmmaker, actor, artist, and photographer, known for his roles in Apocalypse Now, Rumble Fish, and “The Osterman Weekend,” Hoosiers, and Blue Velvet. Hopper is also known for starring in, and directing in the 1969 film “Easy Rider.” Born to parents, James Hopper, and Marjorie May, Dennis grew up in Kansas City where he pursued his education at the Kansas City Art Institute. On relocating to California, Hopper attended the Helix High School where he was an active member of the school’s drama group, and the choir. Hopper also studied drama at the Actors Studio in
New York, where Lee Strasberg was his classmate. Hopper has also acknowledged that he is an admirer of Shakespeare’s works. Hopper started his movie career in 1955 with the
James Dean starrer “Rebel without a Cause,” followed by “Giant.” In the following year, Hopper featured in Henry Hathaway’s “From Hell to Texas.” In 1961, Hopper played the protagonist in Curtis Harrington’s “Night Tide.” In 1965, John Wayne cast Hopper in “The Sons of Katie Elder” followed by “True Grit” in 1969.Hopper has publicly confessed that John Wayne had resurrected Hopper’s career. In 1967, Hopper featured briefly in the
Paul Newman starrer, “Cool Hand Luke.” The following year also saw Hopper collaborate with the legendary
Peter Fonda and Terry Southern on the script of “Easy Rider.” The film pocketed an award at the Cannes Film Festival and also received an Academy Award Nomination. In 1971, Hopper wrote, directed and featured in the movie “The Last Movie.” Later on, Hopper pocketed roles in Mad Dog Morgan, Tracks, The American Friend, and Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” 1980 saw Hopper direct “Out of the Blue.” The following years saw Hopper in movies such as Rumble Fish, “The Osterman Weekend,” Blue Velvet, and Hoosiers.
The year 1988 saw Hopper nominated for an Emmy Award for his direction in “
Colors,” which was well received by the audience, and was subject of critical acclamation. Hopper has also featured in True Romance, Speed, “Search and Destroy,” “Waterworld,” An American Carol, and Elegy. Hopper started his television career in 1955 with a brief role in the NBC-produced “Medical.” Later on, Hopper has also featured in other television series such as Cheyenne, “Gunsmoke,” Petticoat Junction, Bonanza,
The Legend of Jesse James, The Time Tunnel, and Entourage, among many others. Hopper was also the villain in Fox Television Network’s, “24.” Hopper is also ostentatiously known for his photography, paintings, and sculpting. The 1960s saw him as a regular artist on Vogue magazine’s celebrity portfolios. Hopper has also been an avid art collector. The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington often showcases Hopper’s works and his collections. Tom Folson has written a biography on Hopper’s life titled, “Hopper: A Journey into the American Dream.” Hopper has been previously married to Brooke Hayward, Michelle Philips, Daria Halprin, Katherine LaNasa, and Victoria Duffy. On March 26th, 2010, Hopper was presented with a Hollywood Walk of Fame. On the 29th of May 2010, Hopper passed away as the result of a prolonging illness.