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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