RIP Dennis Hopper
It feels as if time passes the more and more we are going to lose some of the greatest entertainers of our generations. Last week after a long battle with cancer, Hopper passed at the age of 74. He will always be remembered in my mind as a great movie maverick, a terrific character actor but mostly just a terrific character of life.
Hollywood is known for having its fair share of "rebels" but Hopper was in a league of his own, he was the real deal. The actor and avid filmmaker never failed to defy all types of authority and the expectations of how he should be.
That and his unshakable commitment to his work was how he single handedly changed the movie business. With the box office hit Easy Rider he directed and co-wrote this counter-culture sensation. It opened the doors for a generation of long haired film brats who would absolutely revolutionize cinema for years to come. The whole tagline for the film seemed to sum up the times (post-summer of love) "A man went looking for America. And couldn't find it anywhere".
Some of his other great work was done in films such as: Rebel without a Cause, The Last Movie, Apocalypse Now, Out of the Blue, Hoosiers, Blue Velvet, True Romance. There are so many almost too many to count. Go check out his IMDB page. Its amazing. He is easily considered one of the best of his generation. Its fitting that his last public appearance was a few months back when he accepted his star on the hollywood walk of fame. I just ask what took them so long?
To me and my generation its safe to say that his most famous work goes down as the villain in the original Speed movie. Yes Speed. His hauntingly disturbing character of an ex bomb squad officer turned psycho gave me goosebumps. He was so intense, so believable. Watching it you felt his character leap through the screen.
Here is one of my favorite clips from the movie: "Pop Quiz hot shot!"