Actor Dennis Hopper, whose 50-year film career spanned such classics as “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” died Saturday following a battle with prostate cancer, Reuters reported. He was 74.
Hopper died from complications related to the cancer at his home in Venice, Calif., at 8:15am PT and had friends and family by his side, friend Alex Hitz told Reuters.
The unconventional, enigmatic Hopper played villains, counterculture heroes and even a young Napoleon Bonaparte with equal aplomb.
He began acting in television in the 1950s, and by 1955 was appearing with James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause.” In the late ‘60s, he co-wrote, directed and starred in the counterculture classic “Easy Rider,” along with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, triggering a wave of anti-establishment films.
Following a period of substance abuse in the ‘70s, he came back in 1979’s Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now, “ then followed with such memorable efforts as “ Rumble Fish” (1983) the erotic “Blue Velvet” (1986) and “Speed” (1994).
More recently, from 2008-2009 he appeared in 26 episodes of the television series “Crash.”
In March, Hopper was given his own star on Hollywood Boulevard with a bevy of screen legends on hand to honor him.
“Everyone here today that I’ve invited and obviously some that I haven’t invited have enriched my life tremendously,” a frail-looking Hopper said at the time, flanked by fellow actors Jack Nicholson and Viggo Mortensen.
“They’ve shown me a world that I would never have seen being a farm boy from Dodge City, Kansas, and learning things I would never have learned.”
The actor’s last months also were marked by a bitter divorce dispute with his fifth wife, Victoria, after 14 years of marriage.
In March, Hopper, a noted art collector, demanded Duffy, return “the valuable works of art she literally stole from me.”
He claimed in an affidavit filed in L.A. Superior Court, that Duffy “surreptitiously removed from my home very valuable personal property while I was extremely ill, refused to tell me where the property was when I asked her, and then left town.”
Hopper estimated the missing art, including a portrait of himself by Andy Warhol and sculptures by Robert Graham and Brit wit Banksy, were worth more than $1.5 million.
Duffy claimed, “I removed my own property. He is making a big deal about me removing things that are legally mine from the house. I have legal letters saying they belong to me.”
Hopper and Duffy had a seven-year-old daughter, Galen. He also had three grown children by his earlier marriages.