The Reaper seems to have it in for entertainers these days, what with the recent passing of Lena Horne, Lynn Redgrave, Gary Coleman, Ronnie James Dio, and others. Now, Dennis Hopper, a known rebel and hellraiser prone to paranoid delusions, but a screen legend regardless, passed away in his home in Venice, California, at 74 from complications due to prostate cancer.
Hopper, who was going through a difficult divorce with his fifth wife, wrote, directed and acted in 1969’s classic Easy Rider, which featured other acting legends Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda. Easy Rider, a film that changed Hollywood and which was made for less than $500K and grossed tens of millions of dollars, gained Hopper two Oscar nominations. Before that, he played Goon in 1954’s Rebel Without a Cause, beside James Dean. Amongst his 200+ acting credits, he also appeared in numerous other films including Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet. More recently, he played Ben Cendars for 26 episodes of Crash, and had two film projects in progress: Alpha and Omega (voice) and The Last Film Festival.
He’s survived by four children from four of his five wives.