Dennis Lee Hopper was born at Dodge City, Kansas on May 17th, 1936, he died at his home at Venice, California yesterday morning. His first film role was with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and he worked sporadically ever since because of his tendency to rebel against directors, producers, schedules, and budgets. He is also quite famous or maybe that’s infamous for his consumption of mind-altering drugs, which he said contributed to those few “real brilliance” moments; I would disagree as I believe he did some his his best work after he entered rehabilitation in 1983.
After looking over his Filmography list at the IMDB, I would have to say I have seen a majority of his films and I enjoyed him in every role; however, his bad guy roles were without a doubt the best.
Below are some quotes from Mr. Hopper, hope you enjoy.
“Jimmy [Dean] was the most talented and original actor I ever saw work. He was also a guerrilla artist who attacked all restrictions on his sensibility. Once he pulled a switchblade and threatened to murder his director. I imitated his style in art and in life. It got me in a lot of trouble.”
“I've been sober now for 18 years. With all the drugs, psychedelics and narcotics I did, I was an alcoholic. Honestly, I only used to do cocaine so I could sober up and drink more. My last five years of drinking was a nightmare. I was drinking a half-gallon of rum with a fifth of rum on the side, in case I ran out, 28 beers a day, and three grams of cocaine just to keep me moving around. And I thought I was doing fine because I wasn't crawling around drunk on the floor.”
“There are moments that I've had some real brilliance, you know. But I think they are moments. And sometimes, in a career, moments are enough. I never felt I played the great part. I never felt that I directed the great movie. And I can't say that it's anybody's fault but my own.”
“I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City and my grandparents were wheat farmers. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way. And I have had some fun. It's not been a bad life.”
“I had final cut, and I cut my own throat.”
“People keep asking me, ‘What evil lurks in you to play such bad characters?' There is no evil in me, I just wear tight underwear.”
All from Dennis Hopper, 1936 – 2010