Last Hurrah of a Hollywood Counterculture Icon

RIP Dennis Hopper May 29, 2010

Originally Posted March 30, 2010

Last week’s sad appearance by a rail thin Dennis Hopper at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling is all the more stunning considering that it was only in September that the Oscar-nominated actor and ‘Easy Rider’ filmmaker was telling this column how happy he was: “I’ve got a wonderful life — and that’s a miracle.  After so many years of drug and alcohol abuse, I should be dead.”

Dennis Hopper by Andy Warhol, 1971

He’d been clean for more than 26 years, he said, and more important, “I haven’t seemed to have had a bad influence on my kids.’  His son, he said, “Went through a program and is sober.”  His three daughters, he said, were “just fine….It’s a great family…I’ve got a son, a daughter and my granddaughter living with my wife and me in our house in Venice.’

Later that same month, Hopper was rushed to the hospital, feeling faint, leading to his diagnosis of prostate cancer.  In January he filed for divorce from wife Victoria — a split that has become extremely ugly, with Hopper accusing her of raiding his home and absconding with artworks and other valuables worth an estimated $1.5 million.  And, as has been widely reported, legal papers that came to light last week show his attorney saying he is so ill and frail with his now-terminal cancer, he was unable to be deposed.  Hopper’s children were among those who turned out for his star unveiling, the last hurrah of a Hollywood counterculture king.

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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  1. Pingback: – News » Stargate Daily Digest for May 30th 2010 2:43pm

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