Actor Dennis Hopper — star of “Easy Rider,” “Blue Velvet,” “Giant” and many other films — died Saturday of prostate cancer at his Los Angeles-area home, according to The Associated Press. He was 74.
The two-time Academy Award nominee, who announced through a manager in the fall of 2009 that he had been diagnosed with the disease, was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death, friend Alex Hitz told the AP.
The actor directed, co-wrote and starred in directed 1969’s “Easy Rider,” perhaps the most memorable film of his wildly erratic, nearly six-decade-long career. In that classic, generation-defining film — which also established Jack Nicholson as a major star — he and Peter Fonda played motorcycle-riding hippies “in search of America.” The film was a Hollywood success story; it was produced for less than $500,000 and ultimately earned in excess of $40 million. “Easy Rider” also earned two Academy Award nominations, including a shared screenplay nod for Hopper, Fonda and Terry Southern.
Born in Kansas on May 17,1936, and raised in San Diego, Hopper made his mark in movies as a teenager, starring with James Dean, whom he idolized, in the 1950s classics “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant.”
His career followed a bumpy path over the decades, veering between fame and obscurity — due in equal measure to substance abuse and his legendarily rebellious personality — before being permanently revived by his memorable 1986 role as the psychotic Frank in “Blue Velvet.” He appeared in dozens of films over the years, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Hoosiers,” “Speed,” “River’s Edge,” “Rumblefish,” “True Romance,” “True Grit” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” to name just a few; he also made many television appearances, including “24” and “The Twlight Zone.” His directing credits included “Colors,” “The Hot Spot,” “Chasers” and “The Last Movie,” his disastrous 1971 follow-up to “Easy Rider,” the production of which was so erratic that it effectively blackballed him from the film industry for years.
Hopper’s personal life was no less dramatic than his work: Married five times (including an eight-day marriage to Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips in 1970), he struggled for many years with alcoholism and drug abuse before becoming sober in the 1980s. He filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, in January, after 14 years of marriage and one child (daughter Galen Grier). He was also an avid photographer and art collector.
Hopper appeared frail when he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March of this year.
His work will continue: In September he will be heard as one of the lead voices in “Alpha and Omega.”
Hopper seemed to be acutely aware of his own mortality, telling Time magazine in 1986: “I thought I’d be dead before I was 30. Turning 40 stunned me. Fifty is a major miracle, and I think I may even make 70.”
Heather, who lives in Manhattan: “I took a job working for a politician in Palm Beach County. I got fired because his wife didn’t like me. I had just gotten an apartment. I had spent all this money. I had bills. I was looking through the paper. This was before there were a lot of jobs on the internet. There was an ad for dancers, make $500 or $5,000 a week. I figured I would take that job until something else came up.
“The next thing I knew, I was traveling. I was in it for years. I was working at the Gold Club in Atlanta.
“I didn’t stay there long. I wasn’t jaded by life enough to do that. The dances there were $10 and they charged you $300 a night to work there.
“I took a regular job.”
Luke: “How did working as a dancer affect your life?”
Heather: “I have knee problems to this day. I wasn’t eating a lot, but I drank every day for eight months. It was basically a requirement. If you refused alcohol, you’d be reprimanded. Now I don’t even drink at all, hardly.”
Luke: “Why would the clubs want you to drink alcohol?”
Heather: “Because it increased your sales. They could charge more money for dancer’s drinks.”
“I became a **** star by accident in 2001.”
Luke: “How did you meet up with Andrew Parker?”
Heather: “I woke up the morning after new years and I was in bed with him.
“A friend of mine had a party in Tribeca. I didn’t want to go back up town. I had an apartment in the city but I lived in Florida. So I slept over. So I guess he came in later and got in the other side of the bed. It was a large bed.
“So I roll over in bed the next morning and he’s there. He says, ‘I’m hung over. Let’s get a bloody mary.’
“That happened. Two weeks go by. It was my birthday. I was going to come up for the weekend. He threw a party for me. Somehow I ended up moving in.”
“It was the only high-profile coupleness that I was ever in. I’ve been with high profile people since then but I never really wanted to be a public couple again because people are pulling for the relationship not to work out.
“It ended horribly. I was devastated for years afterward. I got over him but I never got over what had happened.”
Luke: “Did you realize you were in a relationship with a thief?”
Heather: “Not to that degree.”
Luke: “Why did you move to LA in 2006?”
Heather: “After the Andrew Parker scandal, I was blacklisted. People wouldn’t talk to me. People sided with him because he could get them into the better parties, better clubs. It’s very superficial here like that. And he was the It Boy at the time. I basically had to leave. I was pushed out of the social circle.
People would talk to me to see what I was doing so they could report back to him. Or they would tell me, oh yeah, we saw him out with that girl or these people. I didn’t really want to hear that, so I just left.
“Los Angeles was a hard adjustment. The first year I couldn’t stand it. I hated the food, so I learned to cook really well to emulate the food I was eating in New York. I made some very good friends. I probably have better friends in LA than I do in New York now.”
Luke: “Why did you leave ****?”
Heather: “I think I just grew up. I kinda wanted a relationship. I wanted people to take me seriously. I had the potential to do other things.
“I went to a psychologist and the psychologist told me I’m never going to find a decent man if I’m still doing that, which may or may not be true. It would definitely be limiting. It was the best thing to do at the time.”
Luke: “When you look back on your time in the industry, what were the benefits and what were the prices?”
Heather: “I made some good connections. I talked to some people who otherwise wouldn’t have noticed my existence. When I came back here, there were so few girls in Manhattan who had ever done ****, even though it is a huge city. I was hooked up places I ordinarily wouldn’t have been.
“The bad part — they only test for three STDs out of how many? Dating becomes difficult. Even if the guy was OK with the fact that you had done it while you were together, when you break up, they always bring it up or throw it in your face and they fight with you. People look at you differently. I don’t really tell people when I first meet them.
“My first boyfriend after Andrew, I didn’t tell him until seven months into it.
“He was an agent with the Endeavor Agency. They just merged with William Morris. He’s well known.
“A good friend of mine said to not bring it up because he was either going to dump me or it was going to turn into a weird sex thing. So I didn’t tell him at first.
“Then seven months into it, I go to his house and he’s got **** on. I said in a joking way, maybe I should go do that. He said, I’ve got a feeling you already did.
“That same friend of mine said, you better tell him before someone else does. So I told him that night. He said he wasn’t surprised because there were certain things with me ***ually were not what a normal girl would be doing. I don’t know if that is a compliment or not.”
Luke: “Did the way he related to you change after that?”
Heather: “No. He’s sweet. He actually felt sorry for me. It was Andrew who was pushing me to stay in the business and to get more media attention.”
Luke: “Have you noticed that it changes the way most people relate to you when they find out?”
Heather: “Women hate it. They hate it automatically. Men are just into it for other reasons. They think you’re going to do more. They think you’re easy. They think they’re guaranteed.”
Luke: “Is that true?”
Heather: “No. I have such little ***, I barely leave my apartment. I do it less.”
“I’m constantly going to the GYN. I’ve noticed that. That’s just to make sure that nothing happened because of it.”
Luke: “Do you miss the limelight?”
Heather: “I never got out of the limelight. I’m promoting. People still write about me.”
Luke: “Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve always been in the middle of dramatic events. Is that true, and if so, why?”
Heather: “I don’t think I’m dramatic. It’s the people who are drawn to me.”
Luke: “I wonder if you represent something exciting and dangerous to people?”
Heather: “It’s a big misconception if it is. The things in my life that are bad are always extremely bad and the good points are so good beyond what any normal person, things that would happen to them. I go to really good parties. I’ve taken really good vacations. I’m in with all the right people.”
Luke: “What makes you happy about your life today and what makes you sad?”
Heather: “I’m sad that I’m alone.”
“The good part is that I’m in with the right people, but it’s very overrated.”
Luke: “Who are the right people?”
Heather: “Just very connected people. People in the social scene. I can get in the parties, but then what? It’s not very fulfilling. Because I did ****, it’s cool to have me there but nobody is going to settle down with me.”
Luke: “What are your ambitions?”
Heather: “I don’t know. I could probably be a publicist or something.”
“There was always something there that made me slightly different. I can’t pinpoint what it was, but I was never really able to relate to them. Maybe it is because I grew up here as opposed to out there. A different type of upbringing. Different type of goals.
“I remember when I was starting in the industry and I was staying at an agent’s models house and another girl had come in the same day as me. She’d come in from out of town also and she had no money with her. I go, who goes out of town on business and doesn’t bring money and doesn’t have credit cards? That surprised me.
“Years later, that became so normal to hear about that sort of thing. At the time, it was a real culture shock.”
Luke: “Did you lose any friends or relationship from working in XXX?”
Heather: “Yes. All these people who say they didn’t, they must be a different type of person than me or they are lying. I’ve lost family and I’ve lost friends I’ve been friends with my whole life over this. That was probably the biggest downside. I didn’t realize how big it was going to get. I didn’t realize how many people watch ****. I certainly didn’t.”
“My family for years has been kinda confrontational about it once they found it. I was under the impression that they wouldn’t find out. They’re not big ****-watching types.
“Somebody right after the Tampa Show sent them videos.”
Luke: “And how did they react?”
Heather: “I was on the phone with my mother. I was packing to go to Vegas for a signing. And she said, Why are you going to Vegas? I said I have to go for work. She said, it’s not for **** is it? I said no, why?
“She said, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I saw you.
“It ruined the whole signing. It was all in my head.
“She went into graphic detail about everything I was saying to this guy. She said, ‘Your father saw parts of you that he hasn’t seen in years.’
“It skeeved me out. So bad. I didn’t care who saw it as long as they weren’t related to me.”
Luke: “I wonder why your dad was watching it?”
Heather: “I have no idea. So they would have something on me.”
Luke: “So your mother repeated back to you some of your dialogue?”
Heather: “It really grossed me out. It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
“It’s not that they’re into it. It’s not that they are weird like that. She just had this snide tone about it. It was horrible.”
“They didn’t know I was sexually active until I was 21.
“I did it one time when I was 15 and then didn’t do it again for two years.”
Luke: “What did they teach you about sex?”
Heather: “Don’t do it and if I did, I’d get kicked out of the house. What did your parents teach you about sex?”
Luke: “Don’t do it. Save it for marriage.”
“Since you left **** in 2007, have you been able to heal many of the broken relationships?”
Heather: “No. It’s just so humiliating when it happens that you don’t want to go back and heal anything. You’re just better off to walk away from it. I’m not very confrontational.”
“I would never do it again. With the popularity of Jenna Jameson, it was almost like that was on purpose to get more girls into porn. They put her on E! True Hollywood Story. Look at me and my beautiful mansion. Get in and you’ll be like this too.
“I made some decent money. I’m really anal with money. That’s the only reason I was able to do somewhat well. No, I didn’t get a mansion out of it. A couple of nice apartments. I could’ve gotten that anyway.”
Luke: “Did you save your money while you were in the industry?”
Heather: “I saved it but I lost a lot of money last year. With the market and with moving [back to Manhattan]. I took a job and that didn’t turn out well. It’s hard now.”
Luke: “Do people still throw it in your face?”
Heather: “Oh yes. I had somebody a week ago.”
Luke: “How do you react?”
Heather: “It hurts. It’s probably one of the most hurtful things they can do because it is not met anymore and I’m not even sure it was while I was doing it. It’s not who I am as a person.”
Heather: “I’m surprised you didn’t read about it while it was going on. It was the number one story here.”
Heather says journalists can’t screw her over. “How bad could they make my reputation? I already did porn. I have nothing to lose. Even if they wrote that I’m a horrible bitch, it would still make a couple of movies sell.”
Luke: “Do you have any thoughts on betrayal?”
Heather: “People seem to like doing it to me. Maybe it is the type of people who tend to be drawn to me. I’m not living up to everyone’s expectations. Andrew Parker used to say I was boring.”
Luke: “I imagine this has all taken some toll on your health.”
Heather: “My health is not good. It’s becoming obvious to other people. I’ve spent this year in the hospital. These people weren’t loyal to me when I was in that.”
Luke: “Have there been people in your life who pleasantly surprised you during these difficult times?”
Heather: “No. They stick around for a while and then leave.”
Luke: “Have you been reading anything good?”
Heather: “I haven’t been able to eat much. My stomach’s been bad. I haven’t been able to eat. I’ve lost a lot of weight, which is why I’ve been in the hospital.”
“At the beginning of this year, I was in hospital but I still had friends. I had somebody in my life who was there and basically they betrayed me. They turned on me.”
I’m not demanding this but at least it would give me something to look forward to:)
This is what I’ve been dealing with lately. I’ve been too embarrassed to talk about it. I cared and still care about this person very much and this person demoralizes me. Takes shots at me over my former career. Tells me I’m stupid, a whore, a dumb cunt and others I can’t think of right now. Goes through a list of girls he’s been with that are “better” than me. He’s done this in front of friends, family members. He has the most wonderful mother who I love. It’s sad.
He threatens me not to tell anyone saying he’s a “private person.” BUT there is tons of stuff written about this person on the internet. I don’t think it’s so much that he’s private but more so embarrassed by his actions. What do you guys think?
I read this online, it’s all in there:
The following is a list of warning signs for potentially abusive relationships. They are presented as guidelines and cues to pay attention to, not as judgments on the worth of the other person.
Question relationships with partners who:
Some other cues that might indicate an abusive relationship might include: