How can we remember the cinema of the 1970s without the drug-induced rants from Dennis Hopper in both Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now? Unfortunately, last year it was revealed that Hopper was battling something just as serious as his previous drug addiction, prostate cancer. Hopper died this morning at the age of 74.
After battling drug addiction as well as playing addict characters, Hopper became one of Hollywood’s go-to guys for villainous roles. Among his memorable “bad guy” credits are films such as Blue Velvet, True Romance, Speed, Waterworld and the first season of the irreplaceable 24.
Hopper was also politically active for most of his life, Businessweek reports:
“Unusual for a countercultural figure, Hopper was a political conservative for much of his life and moved left in his later years. “I was the first person in my family to have been Republican,” he told reporters shortly before the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He said he had supported Republicans George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush but was planning to vote for Democrat Barack Obama.”
Regardless of a left political turn, he did play a role in the conservative film An American Carol in 2008. His characters have long been solidified in the memories of film audiences around the world. Many can agree that Hopper was an underappreciated treasure in Hollywood, he will certainly be missed.