Interviews


Dennis Hopper


Occupation: Actor, Director
Date of Birth: May 17, 1936
Place of Birth: Dodge City, Kan., USA
Sign: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Aries
Relations: Wife: Victoria Duffy; ex-wives: Katherine LaNasa, Daria Halprin, Michelle Phillips (married eight days), Brooke Hayward; kids: Marin (daughter of Brooke Hayward), Ruthana (daughter of Daria Halprin), Henry Lee (son of Katherine LaNasa)
Education: High school

 

THE common wisdom in Hollywood . . . let's rethink that. The common opinion in Hollywood is that the first half of Dennis Hopper's life was ruined by working with James Dean (in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant). When Dean was killed, Hopper seemed to absorb all his friend's causeless rebellion, but not all of his charm. Directors considered him a temperamental pain, and it took years before he and his pal, Peter Fonda, turned a $400,000 investment into the $40 million counterculture classic Easy Rider. Hopper, who directed, acted, and co-wrote the script, next made The Last Movie, which was so self-indulgently awful and druggy that it was the last movie anyone let him direct for ten years. Divorced from Brooke (Haywire) Hayward, stoned and drunk, he hung out in Taos augmenting his reputation as a wild man. He was inspired, to say the least, by his Apocalypse Now role, in 1979. A year later, he appeared in a small Canadian film; he was asked to take over as director, and Out of the Blue actually came in on schedule. By 1986, he had sobered up, and in 1989 he married a much younger woman. It didn't last, but, in his '50s, he did become a father again. His performances in Blue Velvet and Hoosiers were among the best of his career. Two years later, he directed Colors quite respectably. No one tops over-the-top Hopper in the realm of menace; his gallery of middle-aged oddballs, freaks, and psychos is usually worth the price of admission.

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