Actor Dennis Hopper, best known for cult movie “Easy Rider” (1969), which he directed and in which he played, died Saturday in his residence of Los Angeles from complications caused by cancer of the prostate.
The famous actor died in his home in Venice, a suburb of Los Angeles, Saturday, at 8.15 local time (15.15 GMT), surrounded by family and friends, said one of them, Alex Hitz.
Over a career of over 50 years, Hopper has played different roles, appearing alongside his mentor, James Dean in “Rebel without a cause” and “Giant” in the ’50s, and having more manic scores in “Apocalypse Now”, “Blue Velvet” and “Speed: Race infernal.
He received two Oscar nominations for the screenplay of “Easy Rider” (with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern) – which has received an award for his debut at Cannes – and the interpretation of an alcoholic basketball coach in the drama “Coaches” in 1986.
But drug abuse, temper problems, domestic violence incidents and unfortunate choice of inappropriate roles made him often a Hollywood’s pariah.
However, the importance of heritage that has left it with “Easy Rider” is beyond any doubt, the film is regarded as one of the greatest films of American cinema, which opened a new era in which the old guard of Hollywood was Forced to leave room for young filmmakers at the time, like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
Originally designed by Peter Fonda, low-budget movies became blockbusters and they introduced audiences to the world of mainstream drug and motorcyclists with hair.
“60 years had passed and nobody had a movie about someone who smokes dope without killing then some nurses,” said Hopper to Entertainment Weekly in 2005, saying he wanted the “Easy Rider” to a “time capsule for that period.
But during filming, Hopper had conflicts with everyone, and Peter Fonda, who also played in the film – as Jack Nicholson, then an unknown – later called “a little crazy fascist.”
Hopper’s next movie – “The Last Movie” (1971), was a failure.
Often, the filmmaker was overwhelmed by paranoid impulses. One such incident occurred in 1982, when Hopper was in Mexico filming “Jungle Warriors” and started running naked through the jungle convinced that World War III just started.
Dennis Hopper was sick last year in September, but continued to work both series, “Crash” and a photo album. But his last months of life were marked by a divorce conflict with the fifth wife, Victoria Duffy. Hopper left behind four children.
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