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Chief Justice Michael Stailey • Location: Santa Monica, CA
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Dennis Hopper (1936-2010)
May 31st, 2010 10:54AM

The silver screen is a bit dimmer today, as another of Hollywood's stars has gone dark. Director/writer/actor/photographer Dennis Hopper lost his battle with prostate cancer on Saturday at the age of 74, leaving behind a 55 year legacy of film and television work and volumes of wild and crazy stories from his escapes off the set. The Kansas native produced four children, five ex-wives, and more than 115 feature films. True, a great deal of them won't be easily recalled, but this two-time Oscar nominee won't soon be forgotten.

Hopper began his career in 1955 with a small part in the James Dean classic Rebel without a Cause. Working steadily, he balanced guest spots on television shows like Bonanza, Twilight Zone, and The Barbara Stanwyck Show, with supporting roles in films like Giant, Cool Hand Luke, and Hang 'em High, not to mention a starring role in Night Tide. But all that changed in 1968, when he began work on Easy Rider. Released in 1969, this counter-culture classic turned the actor into a true filmmaker, winning him the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. While this success never catapulted him onto the A-list alongside pal Jack Nicholson, Hopper carved out a niche all his own; emblazoning on celluloid a laundry list of iconic characters...

* Daniel Morgan -- Mad Dog Morgan (1976)
* Frank Booth -- Blue Velvet (1986)
* Shooter -- Hoosiers (1986)
* Huey Walker -- Flashback (1990)
* King Koopa -- Super Mario Bros. (1993)
* Clifford Worley -- True Romance (1993)
* Howard Payne -- Speed (1994)
* Deacon -- Waterworld (1995)
* Robert Nile -- The Target (2002)
* Victor Drazen -- 24: Season One (2002)
* Ben Cendars -- Crash: Season One (2009)

Dennis Hopper was an artistic force to be reckoned with, and he will be missed.


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