Phil Spector, Carrie Fisher, Stevie Nicks, and the greatest of all, Dennis Hopper, are all on the Mount Rushmore of cocaine addicts.
Dennis Hopper brought an intensity to his craft that has yet to be matched. In addition to his acting, his talents also extended behind the camera as director of such unforgettable classics like The Last Movie, Colors, Out of the Blue, and Chasers (starring a peak form Tom Berenger).
The 1969 film, Easy Rider, Hopper’s directorial debut, kickstarted the “auteur” fad in Hollywood that extended throughout the 1970’s (which ended in 1983 when, again, three people were killed. And again, RIP). Sadly, the 70s saw Dennis Hopper’s acting career more or less flatline, which was likely due to his aforementioned cocaine addiction (which is unfortunate. The decline of his acting career that is. Not his crippling cocaine addiction).
However, there was a Dennis Hopper renaissance in the 1980s, with the height of his success coming in 1986 as the sadistic Frank Booth in Blue Velvet and the alcoholic Shooter in Hoosiers.
Hopper rode this newfound fame on into the 90s and 2000s, saying ‘yes’ to any script that was handed to him. Who can forget the time he fought Keanu Reeves on top of a train in Speed? Or taught Kevin Costner how to act in a bad movie for Waterworld? Or gave the greatest racist monologue in the history of film (written by Quentin Tarantino) in True Romance?
Dennis Hopper passed away in 2010.
No matter the script (remember, he was in Super Mario Bros.), no matter the personal dramas in his life, Dennis Hopper always gave it his all.
He was an actor’s actor.
He was the GOAT.