Dennis Hopper, Actor and Iconoclast, DiesBy THE NEW YORK TIMES
3:19 p.m. | Updated Dennis Hopper, whose portrayals of drug-addled, often deranged misfits in the landmark films “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” drew on his early out-of-control experiences as part of a new generation of Hollywood rebel, died at his home in Venice, Calif., on Saturday. He was 74.
According to the Times obituary written by Edward Wyatt, Mr. Hopper died from complications of prostate cancer. His death was first reported by Reuters.
Mr. Hopper, who said he stopped drinking and using drugs in the mid-1980s, followed that change with a tireless phase of his career in which he claimed to have turned down no parts. His credits include at least six films released in 2008 and at least 25 over the past 10 years.
Most recently, Mr. Hopper starred in the television series “Crash,” an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film of the same title. Produced for the Starz cable channel, the show had Mr. Hopper portraying a music producer unhinged by years of drug use. During a promotional tour last fall for that series, he fell ill; shortly thereafter, he began a new round of treatments for prostate cancer, which he said was first diagnosed a decade ago.
Inverting a famous line of dialogue spoken by Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider,” Manohla Dargis wrote of Mr. Hopper in The New York Times:
Dennis Hopper — actor, filmmaker, photographer, art collector, world-class burnout, first-rate survivor — never blew it. Unlike the villains and freaks he has played over the decades — the psycho with the mommy complex in “Blue Velvet,” the mad bomber with the grudge in “Speed” — he has made it through the good, the bad and some spectacularly terrible times. He rode out the golden age of Hollywood by roaring into a new movie era with “Easy Rider.” He hung out with James Dean, played Elizabeth Taylor’s son, acted for Quentin Tarantino. He has been rich and infamous, lost and found, the next big thing, the last man standing.