Saturday, May 29, 2010


All of here at Joyce's Take are saddened at the passing today of Dennis Hopper, actor, director, writer, art collector, photographer, painter, and sculptor. He died at 8:15AM this morning in his home in nearby Venice California, surrounded by family and friends, the victim of prostrate cancer. He was 74.
Born in Dodge City, Kansas, he was a student of the Actor's Studio in New York, and acted with James Dean in two of the three movies Dean made before his death. In 1969 Dennis teamed with Peter Fonda, Terry Southern, and a young guy by the name of Jack Nicholson, to co-write and direct, "Easy Rider," which has been called a landmark counterculture film, which explored the social conflicts and turmoil of the 1960s, the Hippie Movement, drugs, prejudicial hate and unwarranted violence. He was married five times (with 4 children, and 2 granddaughters), and faced many personal demons such as drugs and alcohol use, getting sober in 1983.
Dennis Hopper began his acting career in the 1950s and 60s in television, which he would come back to throughout his life. Some of the notable feature films he appeared in include Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, Cool Hand Luke, True Grit, Apocalypse Now, and Blue Velvet. He had a talent for playing interesting, iconoclastic characters, especially villains, making them his own. Some of my favorite rolls were in, Waterworld, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2, Flashback, Super Mario Brothers, True Romance, Space Truckers, and Carried Away. But all of the movies, television shows, even commercials (I recall a recent TV spot for life insurance, I believe, through AARP possibly, with him standing out in the middle of an empty road giving advice to seniors), were good, or at least interesting. He was one of the few actors, like Michael Caine and Gene Hackman, who make any project better just because they were in it.
A Republican, who voted for Obama, because of Palin.
He will be missed, and may he rest in peace.

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