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Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper

The odyssey of Dennis Hopper has been one of Hollywood's longest, strangest trips. A onetime teen performer, he went through a series of career metamorphoses -- studio pariah, rebel filmmaker, drug casualty, and comeback kid -- before finally settling comfortably into the role of character actor par excellence, with a rogues' gallery of killers and freaks unmatched in psychotic intensity and demented glee. Along the way, Hopper defined a generation, documenting the shining hopes and bitter disappointments of the hippie counterculture and bringing their message to movie screens everywhere. By extension, he spearheaded a revolt in the motion picture industry, forcing the studio establishment to acknowledge a youth market they'd long done their best to deny. Born May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, Hopper began acting during his teen years, and made his professional debut on the TV series Medic. In 1955 he made a legendary collaboration with the director Nicholas Ray in the classic Rebel Without a Cause, appearing as a young tough opposite James Dean. Hopper and Dean became close friends during filming, and also worked together on 1956's Giant. After Dean's tragic death, it was often remarked that Hopper attempted to fill his friend's shoes by borrowing much of his persona, absorbing the late icon's famously defiant attitude and becoming so temperamental that his once-bright career quickly began to wane. Seeking roles far removed from the stereotypical 'troubled teens' which previously dotted his resume, Hopper began training with the Actors Studio. However, on the set of Henry Hathaway's From Hell to Texas he so incensed cast and crew with his insistence upon multiple takes for his improvisational techniques -- the reshoots sometimes numbering upwards of 100 -- that he found himself a Hollywood exile. He spent much of the next decade mired in "B"-movies, if he was lucky enough to work at all. Producers considered him such a risk that upon completing 1960's Key Witness he did not reappear on-screen for another three years. With a noteworthy role in Hathaway's 1965 John Wayne western The Sons of Katie Elder, Hopper made tentative steps towards a comeback. He then appeared in a number of psychedelic films, including 1967's The Trip and the following year's Monkees feature Head, and earned a new audience among anti-establishment viewers. With friends Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in front of the camera, Hopper decided to direct his own movie, and secured over $400,000 in financing to begin filming a screenplay written by novelist Terry Southern. The result was 1969's Easy Rider, a sprawling, drug-fueled journey through an America torn apart by the conflict in Vietnam. Initially rejected by producer Roger Corman, the film became a countercultural touchstone, grossing millions at the box office and proving to Hollywood executives that the ever-expanding youth market and their considerable spending capital would indeed react to films targeted to their issues and concerns, spawning a cottage industry of like-minded films. Long a pariah, Hopper was suddenly hailed as a major new filmmaker, and his success became so great that in 1971 he produced an autobiographical documentary, American Dreamer, exploring his life and times. The true follow-up to Easy Rider, however, was 1971's The Last Movie, an excessive, self-indulgent mess that, while acclaimed by jurors at the Venice Film Festival, was otherwise savaged by critics and snubbed by audiences. Once again Hopper was left picking up the pieces of his career; he appeared only sporadically in films throughout the 1970s, most of them made well outside of Hollywood. His personal life a shambles -- his marriage to singer/actress Michelle Phillips lasted just eight days -- Hopper spent much of the decade in a haze, earning a notorious reputation as an unhinged wild man. A bizarre appearance as a disturbed photojournalist in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now did little to repair most perceptions of his sanity. Then in 1980, Hopper traveled to Canada to appear in a small film titled Out of the Blue. At the outset of the production he was also asked to take over as director, and to the surprise of many, the picture appeared on schedule and to decent reviews. Slowly he began to restake his territory in American films, accepting roles in diverse fare ranging from 1983's teen drama Rumble Fish to the 1985 comedy My Science Project. In 1986 Hopper returned to prominence with a vengeance. His role as the feral, psychopathic Frank Booth in David Lynch's masterpiece Blue Velvet was among the most stunning supporting turns in recent memory, while his touching performance as an alcoholic assistant coach in the basketball drama Hoosiers earned an Academy Award nomination. While acclaimed oddball turns in subsequent films like 1987's The River's Edge threatened to typecast Hopper as a professional sociopath, there was no doubting his return to Hollywood's hot list, and in 1988 he directed Colors, a charged police drama starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall. While subsequent directorial efforts like 1989's Chattahoochee and 1990's film noir The Hot Spot failed to create the same kind of box office returns as Easy Rider over two decades earlier, his improbable comeback continued throughout the 1990s with roles in such acclaimed, quirky films as 1993's True Romance and 1996's Basquiat. Hopper was also the villain-du-jour in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, including 1994's Speed and the following year's Waterworld, and was even a pitchman for Nike athletic wear. He also did a number of largely forgettable films, one exception being Ron Howard's EdTV (1999). In addition, he also played writer and Beat extraordinaire William S. Burroughs in a 1999 documentary called The Source with Johnny Depp as Jack Kerouac and John Turturro as Allen Ginsberg. In 1997 Hopper was awarded the distinction of appearing 87th in Empire Magazine's list of "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time." ~ Jason Ankeny, All Movie Guide


Filmography of Dennis Hopper:

Dennis Hopper Trivia

When was Dennis Hopper born?
Dennis Hopper date of birth: May 17, 1936

What role did Dennis Hopper play in The Keeper?
Dennis Hopper played Lieutenant Krebs in The Keeper

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Out of Season?
Dennis Hopper played Harry in Out of Season

What role did Dennis Hopper play in The Last Ride?
Dennis Hopper played Ronnie Purnell in The Last Ride

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in All the Way?
Dennis Hopper was Frank Sinatra in All the Way

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Inside Deep Throat?
Dennis Hopper played Narrator in Inside Deep Throat

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The Target?
Dennis Hopper was Robert Nile in The Target

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Straight Shooter?
Dennis Hopper was Frank Hector in Straight Shooter

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Space Truckers?
Dennis Hopper was John Canyon in Space Truckers

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Road Ends?
Dennis Hopper played Gilchrist in Road Ends

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The Last Days of Frankie the Fly?
Dennis Hopper was Frankie "The Fly" in The Last Days of Frankie the Fly

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Carried Away?
Dennis Hopper was Joseph Svenden in Carried Away

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Tracks?
Dennis Hopper was Sergeant in Tracks

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2?
Dennis Hopper was Lt. "Lefty" Enright in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

What role did Dennis Hopper play in Riders of the Storm?
Dennis Hopper played Captain in Riders of the Storm

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Night Tide?
Dennis Hopper was Johnny Drake in Night Tide

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Mad Dog Morgan?
Dennis Hopper was Daniel Morgan in Mad Dog Morgan

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in The Inside Man?
Dennis Hopper was Miller in The Inside Man

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Flashback?
Dennis Hopper was Huey Walker in Flashback

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Backtrack?
Dennis Hopper was Milo in Backtrack

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The American Friend?
Dennis Hopper was Tom Ripley in The American Friend

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Knockaround Guys?
Dennis Hopper played Benny "Chains" Demaret in Knockaround Guys

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Waterworld?
Dennis Hopper was Deacon in Waterworld

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Speed?
Dennis Hopper was Howard Payne in Speed

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Red Rock West?
Dennis Hopper was Lyle in Red Rock West

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Boiling Point?
Dennis Hopper was Red Diamond in Boiling Point

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Easy Rider?
Dennis Hopper was Billy in Easy Rider

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Chattahoochee?
Dennis Hopper was Walker Benson in Chattahoochee

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Memory?
Dennis Hopper was Max Lichtenstein in Memory

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Firestarter 2: Rekindled?
Dennis Hopper was James Richardson in Firestarter 2: Rekindled

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Ticker?
Dennis Hopper was Swann in Ticker

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Jason and the Argonauts?
Dennis Hopper was Pelias in Jason and the Argonauts

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Search and Destroy?
Dennis Hopper was Dr. Waxling in Search and Destroy

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in The Young Land?
Dennis Hopper played Hatfield Carnes in The Young Land

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Out of the Blue?
Dennis Hopper was Don Barnes in Out of the Blue

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in True Romance?
Dennis Hopper was Clifford Worley in True Romance

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Super Mario Bros.?
Dennis Hopper played King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in The Pick-Up Artist?
Dennis Hopper played Flash Jensen in The Pick-Up Artist

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Hoosiers?
Dennis Hopper was Shooter in Hoosiers

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Blue Velvet?
Dennis Hopper was Frank Booth in Blue Velvet

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The Spreading Ground?
Dennis Hopper was Det. Ed Delongpre in The Spreading Ground

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Rumble Fish?
Dennis Hopper was Father in Rumble Fish

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in The Osterman Weekend?
Dennis Hopper was Richard Tremayne in The Osterman Weekend

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Eye of the Storm?
Dennis Hopper was Marvin Gladstone in Eye of the Storm

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Black Widow?
Dennis Hopper was Ben Dumers in Black Widow

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Swing Vote?
Dennis Hopper was Donald Greenleaf in Swing Vote

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Americano?
Dennis Hopper played Riccardo Wapato in Americano

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Land of the Dead?
Dennis Hopper was Kaufman in Land of the Dead

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Straight to Hell?
Dennis Hopper was I.G. Farben in Straight to Hell

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in River's Edge?
Dennis Hopper was Feck in River's Edge

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Rebel Without a Cause?
Dennis Hopper was Goon in Rebel Without a Cause

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in My Science Project?
Dennis Hopper played Bob Roberts in My Science Project

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Apocalypse Now?
Dennis Hopper was Photo Journalist in Apocalypse Now

Who did Dennis Hopper play in 10th & Wolf?
Dennis Hopper was Matello in 10th & Wolf

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Basquiat?
Dennis Hopper was Bruno Bischofberger in Basquiat

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in True Grit?
Dennis Hopper was Moon in True Grit

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The Sons of Katie Elder?
Dennis Hopper was Dave Hastings in The Sons of Katie Elder

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in O.C. and Stiggs?
Dennis Hopper was Sponson in O.C. and Stiggs

What role did Dennis Hopper play in The Indian Runner?
Dennis Hopper played Caesar in The Indian Runner

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Sleepwalking?
Dennis Hopper was Mr. Reedy in Sleepwalking

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Apocalypse Now Redux?
Dennis Hopper was Photo-journalist in Apocalypse Now Redux

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Jesus' Son?
Dennis Hopper was Bill in Jesus' Son

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in EDtv?
Dennis Hopper was Hank in EDtv

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Panic in the City?
Dennis Hopper was Goff in Panic in the City

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Giant?
Dennis Hopper was Jordan Benedict III in Giant

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral?
Dennis Hopper was Billy Clanton in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Chasers?
Dennis Hopper played Doggie in Chasers

Who did Dennis Hopper play in An American Carol?
Dennis Hopper was Judgw in An American Carol

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Concert for Diana?
Dennis Hopper was Introducer in Concert for Diana

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi?
Dennis Hopper was Narrator in Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi

What role did Dennis Hopper play in Unspeakable?
Dennis Hopper played Warden in Unspeakable

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Leo?
Dennis Hopper was Horace in Leo

What role did Dennis Hopper play in 24: Season 01?
Dennis Hopper played Victor Drazen in 24: Season 01

What role did Dennis Hopper play in Choke?
Dennis Hopper played Henry in Choke

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Held for Ransom?
Dennis Hopper was J.D. in Held for Ransom

What role did Dennis Hopper portray in Cannes Man?
Dennis Hopper played Himself in Cannes Man

Who did Dennis Hopper play in The Blackout?
Dennis Hopper was Micky in The Blackout

What role did Dennis Hopper play in Samson and Delilah?
Dennis Hopper played Tariq in Samson and Delilah

Who did Dennis Hopper play in Hang 'em High?
Dennis Hopper was The Prophet in Hang 'em High

Who did Dennis Hopper portray in Cool Hand Luke?
Dennis Hopper was Babaludgats in Cool Hand Luke


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