Dennis HopperDennis Hopper
Hopper at his retrospective, 2006 Born Dennis Lee Hopper
May 17, 1936(1936-05-17) (age 72)
Dodge City, Kansas, U.S.Years active 1954-present Spouse(s) Brooke Hayward(1961-1969)
Katherine La Nasa(1989-1992)
Victoria Duffy (1996-) Awards won Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst Supporting Actor
1995 WaterworldOther Awards Best Actor Award - Cannes Film Festival
1969 Easy Rider
Dennis Lee Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor and film-maker. He is known primarily for playing nervy, slightly-unhinged characters, and is best known for his roles in Blue Velvet, Hoosiers, Speed, Apocalypse Now and Easy Rider.
Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas, the son of Marjorie Mae (née Davis) and Jay Millard Hopper. He grew up on a farm and later moved to San Diego with his family, where his mother worked as a lifeguard instructor and his father was a post office manager (Hopper has acknowledged, though, that his father was in the OSS, the precursor to the CIA). Hopper was educated at Wooster School, Danbury, Connecticut and was voted most likely to succeed by his high school class (Helix High School, La Mesa, California a suburb of San Diego, California). It was there he developed an interest in acting, studying at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California and the Actors Studio in New York City, New York (studied with Lee Strasberg for five years). Hopper struck up a friendship with actor Vincent Price, whose passion for art influenced Hopper's interest in art. He was especially fond of the plays of William Shakespeare.
Hopper made his acting debut on an episode of the Richard Boone television show Medic in 1955 playing a young epileptic. Hopper was then cast in two roles with James Dean (whom he admired immensely) in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). Dean's death in a 1955 car accident affected the young Hopper deeply and it was shortly afterwards that he got into a confrontation with veteran director Henry Hathaway on the film From Hell To Texas. Hopper refused directions for 80 takes over several days. This infamous incident resulted in his being blacklisted from films for several years.
In his book Last Train to Memphis, American popular music historian Peter Guralnick says that in 1956 when Elvis Presley was making his first film in Hollywood, Dennis Hopper was roommates with fellow actor Nick Adams and the three became friends and socialized together. Hopper moved to New York and studied at the famous Lee Strasberg acting school. He appeared in over 140 episodes of television shows such as Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, The Defenders, The Big Valley, The Time Tunnel, The Rifleman and Combat!. Hopper also became an accomplished professional photographer, and noted writer Terry Southern profiled Hopper in Home and Garden magazine as an up and coming photographer "to watch" in the mid 1950's. He also was very talented as a painter and a poet as well as being an enthusiastic collector of Art, particularly Pop Art. One of the first art works Hopper owned was an early print of Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans bought for $75.
Hopper had a supporting role as "Babalugats," the bet-taker in Cool Hand Luke (1967). Hopper was able to resume acting in mainstream films including The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) and True Grit (1969). Both of these films starred John Wayne, and in both Hopper's character is killed. During the production of True Grit, he became well acquainted with Wayne. Although the screen legend would regularly (and good-naturedly) assail Hopper for his archliberal social and political leanings, a genuine kinship developed between the two men.
It was not until he teamed with Peter Fonda, Terry Southern, and Jack Nicholson and made Easy Rider that he really shook up the Hollywood establishment. This film came to represent the generation of the Vietnam War and to this day is one of the most successful independent films ever made. Hopper won wide acclaim as the director of the film for his improvisational methods and innovative editing. However, the production was plagued by creative differences and personal acrimony between Fonda and Hopper, the dissolution of his marriage to Brooke Hayward, and an unwillingness to leave the editor's desk — all of which could be attributed to accelerating abuse of drugs and alcohol that would prove to be fatally detrimental to the production of his next film.
In 1971, Hopper released The Last Movie. Expecting an accessible follow-up to Easy Rider, audiences were treated to inscrutable artistic flourishes (the inclusion of "scene missing" cards) and a hazily existentialist plot that verged on the nonlinear and absurd. After finishing first at the Venice Film Festival, the film was dismissed by audiences and critics alike during its first domestic engagement in New York City and never entered national release. During the tumultuous editing process, Hopper ensconced himself in Taos, New Mexico for nearly a year, publicly cavorting with young women. In between contesting Fonda's rights to the majority of the residual profits from Easy Rider, he married Michelle Phillips in October 1970. Citing spousal abuse and his various addictions, she filed for divorce a week after their wedding. This whirlwind of negative publicity, combined with the failure of The Last Movie, ensured that the former wunderkind became a pariah within the industry, widely regarded as the New Hollywood's first "drug burnout".[who?]
Although he was shunned by the mainstream American film industry, Hopper was able to sustain his lifestyle and a measure of celebrity by acting in numerous low budget and European films throughout the 1970s as the archetypical "tormented maniac", including Mad Dog Morgan (1976), Tracks (1976), and The American Friend (1977). With Francis Ford Coppola's blockbuster Apocalypse Now (1979), Hopper returned to prominence as a hypomanic Vietnam-era photojournalist, essentially portraying himself in the eyes of many viewers and critics. Stepping in for an overwhelmed director, Hopper won praise in 1980 for his directing and acting in Out of the Blue, the first indication that a fragment of his creative talents had remained intact.
Immediately thereafter, Hopper starred as an addled short-order cook "Cracker" in the low-budget Neil Young and Dean Stockwell collaboration Human Highway with the new wave group Devo. Production was often delayed by his unreliable behavior. Peter Biskind states in the New Hollywood history Easy Riders, Raging Bulls that Hopper's cocaine intake had reached three grams a day by this time period, complemented by an additional thirty beers, marijuana, and Cuba libres.
After staging a "suicide attempt" (really more of a daredevil act) using 17 sticks of dynamite at an "art happening" near Houston and later disappearing into the Mexican desert during a particularly extravagant bender, Hopper entered a drug rehabilitation program in 1983. The not-entirely-rejuvenated Hopper gave powerful performances in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Osterman Weekend (1983). However, it was not until he portrayed the intoxicating gas-huffing, obscenity-screaming Frank Booth in David Lynch's film Blue Velvet (1986) that his career truly revived. After reading the script, Hopper called Lynch and told him "You have to let me play Frank Booth. Because I am Frank Booth!" Hopper won critical acclaim and several awards for this role and the same year received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Hoosiers.
In 1988, Hopper directed a critically acclaimed film about Los Angeles gangs called Colors. He has continued to be an important actor, photographer and director. He was nominated for an Emmy award for the 1991 HBO films Paris Trout and Doublecrossed (in which he played real life drug smuggler and DEA informant Barry Seal). He also co-starred in the 1994 blockbuster Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. He recently contributed to the film 1 Giant Leap with provocative anecdotes on spirituality, unity and culture.[who?] In 1995 Hopper played the villain "Deacon" in Waterworld.
Hopper teamed with Nike in the early 1990s to make a series of successful television commercials. He appeared as a "crazed referee" in those ads. He portrayed villain Victor Drazen in the first season of the popular 24 drama on the Fox television network. Hopper also starred in the NBC 2005 television series E-Ring, a drama set at The Pentagon, but the series was cancelled after 14 episodes aired.
Hopper has been married five times and has four children
- Brooke Hayward (1961 - 1969) (divorced), daughter of Leland Hayward, 1 child (daughter Marin Hopper 1961)
- Michelle Phillips (31 October 1970 - 8 November 1970) (divorced)
- Daria Halprin (1972 - 1976) (divorced) 1 child (daughter Ruthanna Hopper 1974)
- Katherine LaNasa (17 June 1989 - April 1992) (divorced) 1 child (son Henry Lee Hopper 1990)
- Victoria Duffy (13 April 1996 - present) 1 child (daughter Galen Hopper 2003)
In 1999, actor Rip Torn filed a defamation lawsuit against Hopper over a story Hopper told on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Hopper claimed that Torn pulled a knife on him during pre-production of the film Easy Rider. According to Hopper, Torn was originally cast in the film but was replaced with Jack Nicholson after the incident. According to Torn's suit, it was actually Hopper who pulled the knife on him. A judge ruled in Torn's favor and Hopper was ordered to pay $475,000 in damages. Hopper then appealed but the judge again ruled in Torn's favor and Hopper was required to pay another $475,000 in punitive damages.
Despite being famous as an actor and director, Hopper sees himself primarily as an artist, and is an accomplished and much-respected painter, art collector and photographer.
Over the past four years, Hopper has given at least $4,000 to the Republican National Committee In Al Franken's book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, the author recounts a warm, cordial meeting between Hopper and then-Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
- Johnny Guitar (1954)
- Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
- I Died a Thousand Times (1955)
- Giant (1956)
- Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
- The Story of Mankind (1957)
- Sayonara (1957) (voice only)
- Night Tide (1961)
- Screen Test (1965) (short subject)
- The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
- Queen of Blood (1966)
- The Trip (1967)
- Cool Hand Luke (1967)
- Hang 'Em High (1968)
- Head (1968) (cameo appearance)
- Easy Rider (1969) (also director and writer)
- True Grit (1969)
- The Last Movie (1971) (also director and writer)
- The Other Side of the Wind (1972) (unfinished)
- Kid Blue (1973)
- Tracks (1976)
- Mad Dog Morgan (1976)
- The American Friend (1977)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1977)
- Flesh Color (1979)
- Apocalypse Now (1979)
- The Sky Is Falling (Las Flores del vicio) (1979)
- Out of the Blue (1980) (also director and writer)
- King of the Mountain (1981)
- Human Highway (1982)
- Rumble Fish (1983)
- The Osterman Weekend (1983)
- My Science Project (1985)
- Riders of the Storm (1986)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
- River's Edge (1986)
- Blue Velvet (1986)
- Hoosiers (1986)
- Black Widow (1987)
- Straight to Hell (1987)
- O.C. and Stiggs (1987)
- The Pick-up Artist (1987)
- Colors (1988) (director)
- Chattahoochee (1989)
- The Hot Spot (1990) (director)
- Catchfire (1990) (also director)
- Flashback (1990)
- Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) (documentary)
- The Indian Runner (1991)
- Paris Trout (1991)
- Doublecrossed (1991)
- Red Rock West (1992)
- Boiling Point (1993 film) (1993)
- True Romance (1993)
- Super Mario Bros. (1993)
- Speed (1994)
- Waterworld (1995)
- Carried Away (1996)
- Basquiat (1996)
- Space Truckers (1996)
- Top of the World (1997)
- Meet the Deedles (1998)
- Black Dahlia (computer game, 1998)
- The Source (1999)
- EDtv (1999)
- Straight Shooter (1999)
- Jesus' Son (1999)
- The Venice Project (1999)
- Welcome to Hollywood (2000) (documentary)
- Held for Ransom (2000)
- Jason and the Argonauts (2000)
- 24 (2001) (TV Series)
- Ticker (2001)
- Knockaround Guys (2001)
- 1 Giant Leap (2002) (documentary)
- Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003) (documentary)
- A Decade Under the Influence (2003) (documentary)
- The Night We Called It a Day (2003)
- The Last Ride (2004)
- The Keeper (2004)
- House of 9 (2004)
- "Out Of Season" (2004)
- Inside Deep Throat (2005) (documentary) (narrator)
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
- Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005) (documentary)
- E-Ring (2005) (TV series)
- Mem-o-re (2005)
- Americano (2005)
- Land of the Dead (2005)
- 10th & Wolf (2006)
- Entourage (2007) 1 Episode (TV Series)
- Hell Ride (2008)
- Sleepwalking (2008)
- Elegy (2008)
- Swing Vote (2008)
- The Palermo Shooting (2008)
- An American Carol (2008)
- ^ Cigar Aficionado | People Profile | Dennis Hopper
- ^  O'Hare, Cate, Hopper Evolves From Rebel to Republican
- ^ PopMatters Music. Retrieved on 2008-06-06.
- ^ Dennis Hopper - Biography
- ^ Court ruling doubles the 'Easy' score: Torn 2, Hopper zip. CNN (1999-05-11). Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
- ^ NEWSMEAT ▷ Dennis Hopper's Federal Campaign Contribution Report
- ^ Hopper to hand out Turner Prize. BBC (2007-11-26).
- ^ Cigar Aficionado | People Profile | Dennis Hopper
- ^ Ace Gallery | Dennis Hopper
- ^ NEWSMEAT ▷ Dennis Hopper's Federal Campaign Contribution Report
- ^ Dennis Hopper - News
External linksWikimedia Commons has media related to: Dennis Hopper
- Dennis Hopper Video Interview from AMC's Shootout program.
- Dennis Hopper at TV.com
- Dennis Hopper at the Internet Movie Database
- Washington Post Article
- Dennis Hopper interviewed by Ginny Dougary March 2004
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