Advertising Console

    Dennis Hopper dies


    by ODN


    Cult actor Dennis Hopper has died from complications of prostate cancer aged 74.

    The hard-living screen star died at his home in the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Venice on Saturday morning surrounded by family and friends.

    In a varied career spanning more than 50 years, Hopper appeared alongside his mentor James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant in the 1950s and played maniacs in films like Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet and Speed.

    He received two Oscar nominations - for writing Easy Rider (with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and for a rare heartwarming turn as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in the 1986 drama Hoosiers.

    Easy Rider, regarded is one of the greatest films of American cinema, helped usher in a new era in which the old Hollywood guard was forced to cede power to young filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

    The low-budget blockbuster, originally conceived by Fonda, introduced mainstream moviegoers to cannabis-smoking, cocaine-dealing, long-haired bikers.

    Hopper and Fonda were joined on screen by a then-unknown Jack Nicholson as an alcoholic lawyer, but it was not a harmonious set. Hopper clashed violently with everyone and Fonda later described him as a "little fascist freak." Their friendship was destroyed.

    Hopper fell ill last September. He continued working almost to the very end, both on his cable TV series Crash and on a book showcasing his photography. But his final months were also consumed by a bitter divorce battle with his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy.