Monday, May 31, 2010

Dennis Hopper - RIP

I heard with sadness about the death of actor Dennis Hopper from complications of prostate cancer. I wasn't a big fan, and can't really remember too many of his movies. I didn't realize he was in "Giant" and "Rebel Without a Cause" with James Dean - I must watch out for him when these show up again on the Sky Modern Greats channel. I did enjoy his roles in "Speed", "Waterworld", "Apocalypse Now", and "Blue Velvet". He was often cast as the bad guy, but never quite made it to the super-stardom that he might have reached. He did get two Oscar nomination (Hoosiers, 1986, and Easy Rider, 1969) - but didn't win. He has been in the news a lot lately over his bitter divorce - quite why a dying man would fight so much against his former wife probably says a lot about him.

For me, and many other people, Hopper will be remembered most for his role as Billy in iconic movie - Easy Rider (1969). There isn't a biker in the world who is not inspired by the picture of Hopper and Peter Fonda riding their Harley-Davidson Hydra Glides across the American desert - this is what most of us want to do. Of course we can't ride with no helmets, and while it looks cool to just have sun-glasses on - the grit from the road and insects would make for uncomfortable riding. Nor do we all have Captain America style Choppers. I did do the "riding through the desert" thing once in Scottsdale, Arizona - I definitely felt like an Easy Rider. I feel certain that if there is a heaven that Dennis Hopper is now in the Cool Section! I post the photo below (taken from ABC News website) in his honour...

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