Taken from www.chartattack.com
Actor and artist Dennis Hopper has died of prostate cancer at age 74.
Hopper, who was probably best known as the star and director of 1969's Easy Rider, passed away at his Venice, Calif. home on Saturday (May 29), with which he'd been diagnosed in October 2009.
Rather than dwell on the sadness of this star and cultural icon's passing, many prefer to remember what made Hopper such an important part of pop culture and history.
Here are 17 reasons Dennis Hopper was cool:
1. Let's start with Easy Rider, since it's the role with which Hopper's most associated. He starred in and directed the movie and co-produced it with his co-star, Peter Fonda. The 1969 film, which also starred Jack Nicholson and Phil Spector, featured Fonda and Hopper as motorcycle-riding drug dealers. It dealt with the hippie movement and counterculture, and remains one of the decade's most important films. Its soundtrack, featuring Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds and Bob Dylan, also captured the spirit of the time.
2. Hopper appeared in two films with James Dean, another important cultural figure in the early years of rock 'n' roll. He made his film debut as Goon in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause and played Jordan Benedict III in Giant, Dean's final film.
3. Hopper became friends with Elvis Presley in 1956. Hopper was roommates with Nick Adams, and the two befriended The King when he came to Hollywood to begin his acting career.
4. Hopper's career sputtered in the '70s, particularly after the release of The Last Movie, which he directed. It was a critical and commercial flop, but he made a comeback with 1979's Apocalypse Now, in which he played the American Photojournalist and starred alongside Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Harrison Ford.
5. The title of Hopper's 1980 self-directed Out Of The Blue film, in which he also starred, was taken from Neil Young's "My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)."
6. Hopper's Young connection doesn't end there. He appeared in Human Highway, the 1982 film co-directed by Young (under the Bernard Shakey pseudonym) and Dean Stockwell (The Rainmaker, Air Force One), which also starred Devo. Hopper played a drug-addled cook.
7. After struggling with cocaine and alcohol addiction in the early '80s, Hopper starred in Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish alongside Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke. The film features a score from The Police's Stewart Copeland.
8. Hopper appeared as the sadomasochistic Frank Booth in David Lynch's controversial Blue Velvet in 1986, and received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his performance. Blue Velvet helped return Hopper to mainstream relevance following his drug addiction battle. The film's title is taken from Bobby Vinton's song of the same name.
9. Although it flopped, Hopper starred as King Koopa in 1993's Super Mario Bros., which also starred Bob Hoskins (Hook, Enemy At The Gates) and John Leguizamo (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) as Luigi.
10. Hopper appeared in 2005's Firecracker, which also starred Faith No More's Mike Patton.
11. Hopper's filmography also includes such important films as Cool Hand Luke, True Grit, Speed, The American Friend, and The Sons Of Katie Elder. He also appeared on television shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Twilight Zone.
12. Hopper took up photography in the '60s, and shot the cover for Ike & Tina Turner's 1966 "River Deep - Mountain High" single.
13. Andy Warhol's 1962 Campbell's Soup Cans painting was one of the first pieces of art Hopper ever bought. He purchased it for $75. It's now on display at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York.
14. Hopper was himself a painter and began to be noticed for his art in the '60s. A collection of his work, curated by filmmaker Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, Before Night Falls), will be part of artist Jeffrey Deitch's upcoming show at Los Angeles' Museum Of Contemporary Art.
15. American writer Tom Folsom is working on a biography of Hopper titled Hopper: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream.
16. Hopper appeared on Gorillaz' 2005 Demon Days album, narrating "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head." He also shows up in last year's Bananaz, the documentary about the recording of the album.
17. Hopper was nominated for two oscars and two Golden Globes during his career, along with an Emmy. Easy Rider won a Cannes Film Festival award.