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Dennis Hopper

An acclaimed actor and filmmaker with an iconic and distinctly American voice, Hopper has been twice nominated for an Academy Award: as Best Supporting Actor for his role as an alcoholic father who gets sober to coach his son's basketball team in Hoosiers, and for Best Original Screenplay of the counter-culture road movie Easy Rider, a film he directed, starred in, and co-wrote with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern.

Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas, and grew up in San Diego, California. He made a lasting impression as a teenager with his performance in Nicholas Ray's classic Rebel Without a Cause, opposite James Dean and Natalie Wood, quickly following that with an equally revelatory performance in George Stevens' epic Giant. Relocating to New York City where he studied with Lee Strasberg, Hopper starred in such television shows as The Rifleman, Naked City, and The Twilight Zone.

Returning to Hollywood, Hopper forever changed the face of American cinema with the 1969 film Easy Rider. The movie, made for $350,000, went on to gross in excess of $50 million and garnered Hopper the Best New Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Since Easy Rider, Hopper has been a familiar presence both in front of and behind the camera for more than three decades. He has been in over 140 television shows and has starred in more than 150 films including most notably Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, River's Edge, Hoosiers, The Indian Runner, True Romance, Speed, Waterworld, Basquiat, and Edtv. He received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Hoosiers and as Frank Booth in David Lynch's now-classic Blue Velvet.

In 2008 alone, Hopper appeared in such films as Sleepwalking with Charlize Theron; Quentin Tarantino's Hell Ride; Elegy with Penelope Cruz (scheduled to open in August); Kevin Costner's Swing Vote with Kelsey Grammer; and Wim Wenders's The Palermo Shooting. Other recent film projects for Hopper include the upcoming adventure comedy Alpha and Omega, in which he stars with Hayden Panettiere and Christina Ricci; comedy An American Carol with Kelsey Grammer; and horror thriller Forever with Edward Furlong.

Hopper received the prestigious CIDALC award at the Venice Film Festival for the movie-industry feature The Last Movie, which he directed, co-wrote, and starred in. He also directed the gang-war crime drama Colors, starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall; action thriller Catchfire, in which he starred with Jodie Foster; and crime drama The Hot Spot, starring Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen.

On television, Hopper has appeared on HBO's Emmy award-winning Entourage, as well as on the acclaimed series 24; Las Vegas with James Caan; the USA Networks feature The Last Ride; received an Emmy nomination for starring in Paris Trout; and he co-starred opposite Benjamin Bratt in the Jerry Bruckheimer/Warner TV produced NBC series E-Ring, during 2005-2006.

In addition to acting and directing, Hopper is an internationally known photographer and painter, with retrospective exhibitions in 2001 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The MAK in Vienna. The most important exhibition of his artistic career was in 2007 at The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, with a photographic exhibition following at The Manege in Moscow, Russia. On October 13, 2008, he opened an extensive film and art retrospective with La Cinematheque Francais in Paris.

Hopper is married to Victoria Duffy, who gave birth to their first child, daughter Galen, in March 2003. Hopper remains close to his three other children from previous marriages: Marin, Ruthanna and Henry.

Film icon Dennis Hopper heads the cast of Crash, a Starz original drama series inspired by the Oscar-winning movie. Hopper plays maverick record producer Ben Cendars, a volatile figure whose fight to remain relevant is made more difficult by his self-destructive tendencies.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Dennis Hopper Facts

BirthdayMay 17, 1936 (87)
BirthplaceDodge City, Kansas, USA
Height5' 9" (1m75)  How tall is Dennis Hopper compared to you?
Awards1995 MTV Movie Awards: Best Villain (for Speed)

Selected Filmography

11:00 P.M.
Prophet's Game
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II
River's Edge
Blue Velvet
Jesus' Son
Alpha & Omega
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