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Dennis Hopper's Geni Profile

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Dennis Lee Hopper

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Dodge City, KS, United States
Death: May 29, 2010 (74)
Venice, CA, United States (Prostate cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of Jay Millard Hopper and Marjorie Mae Hopper
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private; Private; Private and Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private

Occupation: Actor, director, producer, screenwriter, photographer and painter
Managed by: Niv Katz
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
    • Private
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    • Private

About Dennis Hopper

Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist, with a career that spanned half of the 20th century. Hopper was best known for directing and acting in the 1969 movie Easy Rider which won him an award at the Cannes Film Festival and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer of the film's script.

Often taking on darker roles and suspect characters, Dennis Hopper began his film career in the mid-1950s. He started acting as a teenager, eventually signing a contract with Warner Brothers in the early 1950s.

While filming a small role in Rebel Without A Cause (1955), Hopper befriended fellow actor James Dean. The two appeared together again in Dean's last film, Giant (1956), which was made before Dean's fatal car crash. But it wouldn't be until 1969 that Hopper would score his greatest success on screen with Easy Rider. The film follows a road trip made by two counterculture hippies on motorcycles played Hopper and Peter Fonda, capturing a moment in American history. In addition to his starring role, Hopper directed and co-wrote the film with Fonda and Terry Southern. The film received two Academy Award nominations—one for a then-unknown Jack Nicholson for Best Supporting Actor and one for Hopper, Fonda, and Southern for Best Original Screenplay.

Unfortunately, Hopper's next directing project, The Last Movie (1971), was a commercial and critical failure. This sent him into a tailspin, and he sank into a period of intense alcohol and drug abuse. In the 1980s, Hopper went through a personal and professional revival, getting sober and landing more substantial parts. He turned in a memorably disturbing performance in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) as the sinister Frank Booth who was involved in a strange relationship with Dorothy Vallens played by Isabella Rossellini. Showing great versatility, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of an alcoholic father to tries to get sober and help coach his son's basketball team in Hoosiers (1986). That same year, Hopper had another memorable supporting role opposite Keanu Reeves in the cult favorite The River's Edge (1986). In that film, he portrayed the paranoid loner Feck, who keeps an inflatable sex doll as his only companion.

Hopper returned to directing with 1988's police versus street gangs drama Colors, starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall. Since then he has directed a few more films, including The Hot Spot (1990) and Chasers (1994). In the 1990s, however, he was better known for his acting, especially playing the bad guy in such films as Speed (1994).

In the 2000s, Hopper acted in films and on television. Films include The Keeper (2004) and 10th & Wolf (2006). On television he did a series of guest spots on the hit drama 24 in 2002 and appeared a series regular in the short-lived 2005 military series set at the Pentagon, E-Ring, with Benjamin Bratt. In 2008 he began work on the TV drama, Crash.

On October 29. 2009, Hopper's manager reported that Hopper had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. In January 2010, it was reported that Hopper's cancer had metastasized to his bones.

He was honored with the 2,403rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard on March 26, 2010 surrounded by family, friends and fans.

Hopper died at his home in the coastal Los Angeles district of Venice on the morning of May 29, 2010, due to complications from prostate cancer.

In addition to his film and television work, Hopper was an accomplished photographer. His work has been shown at museums and galleries and several books of his photographs have been published. Hopper was also known for amassing a large modern art collection.

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Dennis Hopper's Timeline

May 17, 1936
Dodge City, KS, United States