Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper 1936 - 2010 RIP

Say what you want about Dennis Hopper. His binges were legendary and his running battle with authority caused him to nearly self destruct several times over. But he lived an interesting life and gave some wonderful performances. Among my favorites were the obvious ones such as Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, An American Carol and Hoosiers, among others. And his portrayal of screen villians was quite good. He was quite a nasty little fellow in Kevin Costner's Waterworld, which is a movie I confess to actually enjoying. His mad bomber in Speed was excellent. Either way, whether playing a campy bad guy or a sympathetic character, Dennis was always enjoyable.

Earlier in life, he was just as famous for abusing drugs, alcohol, women, and just about anything and everything he could as he was for his screen performances. His redemption came about in the eighties when he finally got clean and sober and began living up to his potential.

I'm surprised at some of the posts I've been reading on the various websites and blogs. Most people don't even realize how long and varied a career Dennis had. On any given day you can find him among the actors on AMC and TCM cable channels. His career began in the fifties and continued almost to his last days. He also had a long list of television credits and also guest hosted SNL.

His political leanings were just as eclectic as his acting. As a young man he was an extremely far-left liberal. Late in life he became a born-again Conservative, twice voting for Ronald Reagan. He did confess to voting for Barack Obama in 2008 but considering he was suffering from Prostate Cancer he should be forgiven. RIP Dennis. You lived an interesting life and I enjoyed your work. What else can one ask for as an epitaph?

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