Legendary actor, director, artist, and Hollywood renegade Dennis Hopper died today in his Venice, California home after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 74, and in the company of family and friends.
Born in 1936, the first film credit of Hopper's six decades in cinema was an appearance in the James Dean vehicle, Rebel Without a Cause. From there, the roles slowly built and came to a head with the iconic Easy Rider, the sixties drug years zeitgeist Hopper co-wrote, directed, and starred in as the unhinged Billy. Hopper was a hard man to control, and his reputation as an unpredictable loose cannon made for success that came in fits and starts.
Married five times, known for being such a pain in his early years that John Wayne chased him with a loaded gun on the set of True Grit, it's no matter. I'll always remember Hopper for his tour de force in David Lynch's Blue Velvet as ether huffing criminal Frank Booth. His presence was jarring; unsettling in a way that made it clear character and actor both were forces to be reckoned with. [Source]