Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dennis Hopper - 17/5/1936-29/5/10

Dennis Hopper has died.

That's a difficult thing to write.

He was beaten by cancer and passed away surrounded by those who knew and loved him best.

Dennis was an actor who appeared in many of my favourite films and who brought a lot of pleasure into my life.

One of the greatest actors of all time and one of the last of the Hollywood wild men he will be missed terribly by film fans around the world.

Starting his film career with the role of a "hood" in the James Dean classic "Rebel Without a Cause" in 1955 he went on to appear in a second Dean film, "Giant", alongside Elizabeth Taylor and then to forge a career that included "Gunfight at the O.K Corral", "Cool Hand Luke", "Hang 'Em High", "True Grit", "Rumble Fish", "True Romance", "Speed" and less well received movies like "Land of the Dead", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre:2", "Swing Vote" and "Firestarter 2: Rekindled".

However, there can be little doubt that Dennis will be remembered best for "Easy Rider", "Apocalypse Now" and "Blue Velvet". Three films that would sit comfortably in anyones favourites list, three films that were truly counter-cultural and three films that featured performances from Hopper that were the match of anything in American cinema history. A Holy Trinity of American cinema that could sit alongside any other.

Dennis Hopper lived a full life...sometimes too full...he experienced his share of love, laughter, pain and heartache. He made career choices that seemed baffling to those of us without an ounce of his talent but he was also there at the heart of the finest American films in the 1950's, '60's and '70's before making appearances in films in the 1980's and '90's that showed that even when the quality of the film was in doubt, his talent never was.

Dennis Hopper, 1936-2010.

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