1978 BBC DOCUMENTARY: Fear & Loathing in Gonzovision (On The Road To Hollywood)
PART 2 OF 3
Hunter Stockton Thompson Introduction con't
Thompson's influence reached from bookstores to newsstands to Hollywood. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau modeled the balding, pot-smoking character of Uncle Duke in the "Doonesbury" comic strip after Thompson, a move that angered the journalist. At one point, Thompson vowed to set Trudeau on fire, if they ever met. Bill Murray portrayed him in the 1980 film "Where the Buffalo Roam," and Johnny Depp did so in the 1998 film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." A film adaptation of "The Rum Diary," Thompson's only published work of intentional fiction, is currently in production.
Thompson became more reclusive in recent years, spending most of his time shooting firearms in his backyard. In 2000, he accidentally shot his assistant, Deborah Fuller, while chasing a bear off his property. Thompson also wrote the popular column, Hey Rube, for ESPN.com. In his most recent column ("Fore!"), he called Murray to discuss a new extreme sport: shooting golf balls like skeet.
[Update, March 8, 2005: Thompson's body was found in a chair in his kitchen in front of his typewriter. On stationary from the Fourth Amendment Foundation, an organization that defends victims of unwarranted search and seizure, Thompson had typed the word "counselor" in the center of the page. He also left behind a suicide note.]
[Update, Aug. 22, 2005: In keeping with his wishes, Hunter S. Thompson's ashes were fired from a 153-foot tower erected in Woody Creek, Colo., on Saturday. About 250 friends and family attended the private ceremony, including actors Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, musician Lyle Lovett and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.).]