Dennis Hopper, famed Billy from the film Easy Rider, not only played the part but also had a hand in the writing of the script and directed the flick. It was a role that stayed with a lot of us, influencing our lives and opening our minds and imaginations. The film came out in 1969 and spurred the biker subculture.
Born on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and San Diego, Hopper made his film debut in the classic 1955 tale of teenage rebellion, “Rebel Without a Cause.” He received two Oscar nominations during his long and fruitful career. He had appeared in some 150 films. Some of them have become the iconic and classic movies in modern moviemaking history.
Hopper, of course, went on to do other things, as well as battling drug, alcohol, and sex addiction. He managed to keep his face in the movie and television world as well as become a wonderful collector of art. In October 2009, Hopper revealed he had advanced prostate cancer. Three months later, it was reported that Hopper’s cancer had metastasized to his bones.
Hopper died at 74 today, Saturday, at his home in Venice, California. You can find a very well written story about him and his life in the LA Times here.
Love, Respect, and RIP Billy,