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    May 31, 2010

    DENNIS HOPPER DIES AT 74



    Dennis Lee Hooper, the legendary actor from past hits like Rebel Without A Cause and Giant (both also featuring the other legend - James Dean) as well as Easy Rider, passed away on Saturday at the age of 74. Having been long battling his worsen and terminal prostate cancer, Hopper still making films. At the time of his passing, an animation Alpha And Omega is awaiting release this fall.


    With career spanning for more than 5 decades, Hopper first gained some popularity with TV series back in 1955 and two films with James Dean. In 1969, he personally directed and starred in Easy Rider, a hit he should never forgot because of its victory at the Cannes that year and subsequently nominated for Oscar's Best Original Screenplay. The road trip movie, tells the story of two bikers (played by Peter Fonda and Hopper) who travel through the American Southwest and South with the aim of achieving freedom. 40 years down the road, Easy Rider became a pop culture.


    He was unable to build on his success for several years, an effect following the death of his idol - James Dean. His insolent behaviour cost him many filming opportunity but not until a featured role in Apocalypse Now (1979) brought him to the attention again. In 1986, Hooper's performance in Blue Velvet received critical appraisal while his work in Hoosiers earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination in the same year.


    After those wonderful years, Hooper switched to a lower profile left. He had co-starred in Speed (1994) with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock as the main villain. 2008's Elegy was his last major film appearance, together with Ben Kingsley, Penelope Cruz and Debbie Harry.


    According to Rolling Stone magazine, he was "one of Hollywood's most notorious drug addicts," for 20 years. He spent much of the 1970s and early 1980s living as "an outcast" in a small town he purchased after the success of Easy Rider. Hopper was also "notorious for his troubled relationships with women," including Michelle Phillips, who divorced him after less than two weeks of marriage. Hopper was married five times in total — he was in the process of divorcing Victoria Duffy, his wife of 14 years, at the time of his death — and is survived by four children.


    It was unknown since when he was stricken with cancer but as on October 29 last year, Hopper's manager reported that Hopper has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. In January 2010, it was reported that Hopper's cancer had metastasized to his bones. Hopper was terminally ill and was unable to undergo chemotherapy to treat his prostate cancer. On May 29, he succumbed to the complications arising from his cancer, reportedly died peacefully in his Venice home surrounded by family and friends on Saturday morning.




    Before his death, Hopper was honoured as the 2403rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along side his best pal, Jack Nicholson. RIP Dennis Hopper.
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