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R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

05.31.2010

Dennis Hopper once said, "Like all artists I want to cheat death a little and contribute something to the next generation."

What Hopper may not have known was that he was already contributing. This began with a little film back in 1955 starring James Dean called REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. Hopper's role might not have been substantial, but you knew this guy was certainly different from the rest of the bunch.

After REBEL, Hopper took on quite a few co-starring roles in television and films such as GIANT, GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, COOL HAND LUKE, and HANG 'EM HIGH. This all lead up to possibly his most memorable role as Billy in EASY RIDER. While on that infamous road trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans, Billy and his partner Wyatt (Peter Fonda) try to search for some sort of freedom meeting interesting characters along the way. Hopper co-wrote the film with Fonda and Terry Southern. I always remember the scene where Hopper as Billy flips the bird to that redneck in the truck that tells him to "get a haircut".

From then on, it was nothing but memorable roles for Hopper. No matter who you ask, you generally get a different answer. Perhaps it was his character from TRUE GRIT, APOCALYPSE NOW, SPEED, HOOSIERS, TRUE ROMANCE, RUMBLE FISH, CARRIED AWAY, FLASHBACK, BLUE VELVET, "Heineken?! F*ck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!"...The point is, the guy was a charismatic badass through and through. All of us have at least one or more movies with Hopper and can name our favorite scene with him lightning quick.

Honestly, it's quite a hard thing to write up an article like this for someone like Dennis Hopper. First of all, it fills my heart with such sorrow to think that prostate cancer took him away at the age of 74. Secondly, how do any words suffice for a man so great? As my article picture seems to stare back at me with that haunting look, I know that Hopper will be remembered for many generations to come.

Take the time to comment below and pay respect to Mr. Hopper, as well as his memorable and long career.

Enjoy one of the best scenes in cinematic history between Hopper and Christopher Walken in TRUE ROMANCE. Easily my favorite.

Extra Tidbit: "I made a picture called SUPER MARIO BROS. and my six-year-old son at the time - he's now 18 - he said, 'Dad, I think you're probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in SUPER MARIO BROS.?' and I said, 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes', and he said, 'Dad, I don't need shoes that badly'."
Source: JoBlo.com

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