Tag Archives: Dennis Hopper


Britney Spears and Jason Alexander

           With the celebrity-watching world sputtering and tweeting over the abrupt ending of Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marital union with Kris Humphries, at least the pair can take heart in knowing they’re not alone when it comes to enduring a brief, humiliating celebrity marriage. 

            Charlie Sheen’s wedding to model Donna Peele in 1996 came as a surprise to many — with him having testified just a few weeks earlier to having spent $53,000 on trysts with Heidi Fleiss’ call girls. Cynics groused that the marriage was all about Sheen trying to clean up his image. He insisted that wasn’t true, but either way, six months later it was over, and he went on to…Well, we all know what he went on to.

            In 2008, Pamela Anderson requested that her Sept. 29-Dec. 13, 2007 marriage to third husband Salomon be annulled in court, citing fraud.  In 2006, she was married to Kid Rock from July 29 to her Nov. 27 divorce filing.  

            Of course there was Britney Spears, with her Jan. 3, 2004, 5:30 a.m. “joke” wedding inLas Vegasto childhood chum Jason Allen Alexander. She reportedly arranged to have it annulled within hours.  By Jan. 4, Alexander was back home inLouisiana, with his grandfather telling reporters he’d “been through a lot” and didn’t have much to say.”

            Then there’s Drew Barrymore. In 1994, she suddenly and surprisingly wedL.A.bar owner Jeremy Thomas. That marriage lasted less than two months.

            And who could forget this one? On Nov. 14, 1998, former “Baywatch” actress Carmen Electra wed rainbow-haired, cross-dressing then-Chicago Bulls basketball star Dennis Rodman at the Chapel of the Flowers in Vegas. The bride wore a black Mark Wong Nark shirt and capris, and black high-heel platform shoes, and the groom wore a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap. After the ceremony, they went to breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel with friends, and later, Carmen headed back toL.A.to shoot her “HyperionBay” series.

            Two days after the event, Rodman’s agent issued a statement claiming the marriage was “not legal” and that his client had been too intoxicated to know what he was doing. On Nov. 23, Rodman filed for an annulment citing “fraud” and an “unsound mind.”

            Michelle Phillips and the late Dennis Hopper were show business royalty – he, the hot star and director of “Easy Rider” glory, and she the lovely Mamas and the Papas singer — when they married in a surprise Halloween quickie wedding in 1970. But the marriage lasted a mere eight days, with Hopper publicly confessing he was in a fog of drugs and alcohol much of the time. Both survived the embarrassing fiasco well, however, each racking up career and personal successes in following years.

            Producer/former studio chieftain/Hollywood legend Robert Evans hastily wed 32 years younger actress Catherine Oxenberg in 1998 — and the marriage was annulled in nine days.  He explained to Variety, “I forgot it had only been six weeks since I had been hit with a stroke.”

            In 2000, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton surprised the public (as well as Billy Bob’s fiancé, Laura Dern) with an impulsive wedding on theLas Vegasstrip. It lasted a comparatively long time — into 2002 — but there was plenty of embarrassment along the way. They shared intimate oddities about their relationship and gave lots’a public displays of affection, attesting to their wild passion. He said he liked to wear her lingerie under his clothes. They had his ‘n’ hers tattoos and wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks.

            Come to think of it, we were the ones who were embarrassed — not them. 

            From the looks of it, Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly red-faced either, heading off to Australia to promote her clothing line while gossips speculate on her feelings — or lack of feelings — for Humphries and the chances she might get back together with former beau, Reggie Bush.  At least for awhile.

Bisset Hoping Money Can Be Found to Complete Hopper’s Final Film

Jacqueline Bisset Hallmark Channel photo

Jacqueline Bisset is awaiting word on the fate of  “The Last Film Festival” — Linda Yellen’s big-screen comedy in which she stars with Chris Kattan and the late Dennis Hopper, which, she reveals, “We still haven’t quite finished.  We still need more money to finish it.  It’s a pity.  They’re just struggling with the end of it, hoping someone comes forward.  It’s Dennis Hopper’s last film, and it’s fun — really pretty funny.”

Bisset, who has the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” coming up Dec. 11, tells us that the cancer that took Hopper’s life in May was not apparent when they worked together.  She adds, “I was actually an admirer of Dennis for years as a painter and photographer” — in addition to his work as an actor and filmmaker.

“He was such a fascinating character, a gentlemanly person to work with, a sensitive personality.  I hope we find some angel who’ll find the money to get the film finished.  With the recession, everyone is suffering,” she notes.

Bisset inhabits a world of wealth and 19th century elegance in her persona as the imposing Isabella Crawford, in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.”

Continuing the character she first played in The Hallmark Channel’s hugely successful 2008 “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” — drawn from Louisa May Alcott’s short story — Bisset and on-screen granddaughter Catherine Steadman this time find themselves in Ireland for a tale of money, manners and romance.

“I think my character has more aspects in this film than the first one,” comments the British actress, who was often hailed as the thinking man’s sex symbol back when she graced such films as “Bullitt” and “The Deep.”  “In the first film I was pretty uptight.  I get to sort of explain myself a little bit now.  I still get to be a little bossy, but I mean well and I’m trying very hard to to have everything messed up.  My rapport with the character of Tilly, the granddaughter, has grown, as she’s definitely thinking for herself and not following politely.  She’s taken on some quite ballsy atittudes, in fact.  She’s fallen in love with two men at the same time.  One of them, she doesn’t quite

Avon photo

know his motives — but I do,” adds Bisset with a laugh.

The still-lovely Bisset, who is busy these days with her Avon Anew Platinum product line for women 60-plus, has a love interest (Ian McIlhenny) in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” as well.

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.

Poehler’s Humor Intact Despite Hectic Pace

Amy Poehler NBC photo Mitchell Haaseth

Amy Poehler NBC photo Mitchell Haaseth

Things could not be much busier for Amy Poehler, but if she’s feeling stressed, it certainly isn’t hurting her sense of humor.

We caught up with the blond dynamo, who’s enjoying the kudos that have been heaped on her “Parks and Recreation” series in this, its second season — and the fact that the zany show has been given a full-season pickup by NBC.

As much as “Parks” is occupying her attention, however, she does have other projects going, not to mention her and husband Will Arnett’s one-year-old son at home.

“We are working on ‘Lunch Lady,'” she says of the big-screen movie in which she’s to play a hairnet-wearing cafeteria worker who doubles as a heroic crime fighter. “Lots of good things are happening. We are expanding my web series ‘Smart Girls At the Party’ and continuing work on ‘The Mighty B” — the Nickelodeon show she co-created and produces, and for which she provides the title voice.

And, as if all that weren’t enough, she adds, none-too-seriously, “And I’m writing, starring, directing and producing the next in the ‘Oceans’ series, ‘Oceans 14.'”


How about return visits to “Saturday Night Live?” When might she pop up in her old stomping grounds?

“I hope soon. I can’t wait to sit under the bleachers with Lorne and watch the show,” she responds, referring, of course, to producer Lorne Michaels.

And, one more thing. Outside of when the Secretary of State appeared on “SNL,” has Amy communicated with the political icon she’s often imitated, Hillary Rodham Clinton?

“Only telepathically.”

WHAT’S IMPORTANT: News last week that Dennis Hopper is battling prostate cancer made his comments to this column a few weeks ago — about being grateful for his health — particularly poignant.

“I’ve got a wonderful life — and that’s a miracle,” said the actor and 60’s icon. “After so many years of drug and alcohol abuse, I should be dead.”

Hopper is being treated through a program at USC.

BIG HAIRY DEAL: If you think Gordon Ramsay is a tough cookie in the kitchen, then you haven’t seen Tabatha Coffey’s sassy style in a salon. The outspoken Aussie has hairdressers running for cover as she’s back for a second season of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” premiering tonight (11/3) on Bravo.

Tabatha tells us despite what people think of her less-than-friendly tactics, it all comes from a place of wanting to help.

“I understand that it’s really hard for them because I guess I am outspoken. I like to think that I’m just really honest,” she notes. “I really want to help them and it doesn’t do any good to pussyfoot around and not tell them the truth. I’ve got to tell them what needs to change to make their business better.

“To some people, that’s really hard to hear. It takes time over the week that I’m with them for them to kind of realize where I’m coming from, and it is actually coming from a good place. It’s coming from a place of trying to help them.”

While getting these salons to change their bad habits isn’t easy, Tabatha claims the rewards are far greater than the stress.

“That’s probably the thing that gets me going more than anything. They really do need help and sometimes, the people in the salon don’t want to change or the owner does. It becomes really, really frustrating,” she says. “With this season, there are some really interesting stories, but as always, there’s drama.

“For me, though, the most rewarding part is when I can see that people get it and they are working hard to change their business. It’s nice when I get e-mails from the salons or the stylists who will reach out to me and tell me that I’ve really made a difference.”

ALL FIGURED OUT:  Eleven-year-old “Zeke and Luther” co-star Ryan Newman is a math-loving girl — who’s in an advanced math program she manages to fit in daily in addition to her regular on-the-set schooling and camera calls. “I’m transitioning from pre-algebra to algebra,” reports Ryan. She loves working with numbers, she says, “because there’s a right answer.”

Ryan Newman     Disney XD photo Jaimie Trueblood

Ryan Newman Disney XD photo Jaimie Trueblood

 Newman is also into fashion and music and has other interests. She’s hoping that she can inspire young female fans to not hesitate to use their brains.

“My advice is to be as smart as you can be, to try your hardest in whatever you’re doing. Yeah, I’m kind of a nerd, but I’m not nerdy,” notes the very hip young lady, who also got her gal pal next door to join the math program. “I feel that being smart and well spoken is a very important thing — well, besides being a good person.”

Newman wants to continue her acting career (it started when she was three) when she grows up. For now, she loves “Zeke and Luther” and goofing around with her cast mates, Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks. They had a Silly String fight shortly before our chat, in fact.

Ahead for her on the skateboard-centric show, her character Ginger is going to do some skateboarding. “I’m very excited about that happening,” she says. “I’m not that great at it. I can push and balance, but I can’t do any tricks.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Dennis Hopper Reflects on Sordid Past, Miraculous Present

Dennis Hopper   photo by Melea Kreshok, Starz

Dennis Hopper photo by Melea Kreshok, Starz

Perhaps the latest proof that Dennis Hopper’s sordid past has been forgiven comes with his disclosure that after a wait of 16 years, he’s finally found the financing to direct a film based on a story he wrote, with production expected to start “As soon as we get through Christmas.”

 Hopper, who hit his initial career high directing “Easy Rider,” then found his career crashing to the ground with the follow-up, “The Last Movie,” these days has a multi-faceted successful career.  His book, “Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967,” will have him doing promotional chores in New York and abroad, including stops in London, Brussels, Berlin and Athens.  And he’s happily wrapping up the second season of the Starz series version of the  movie, “Crash,” for debut Sept. 18.  Of it he says, “We work hard — sometimes up to 14 to 17 hours — but I won’t complain. The show is great, and it’s featuring some marvelous guest performances by Eric Roberts, Peggy Lipton and Keith Carradine.”

 He has been free of narcotics and alcohol for 26 years now and says he’s just sorry, “I stayed on drugs and booze for so long.  I’m just lucky I got through it and have ended up with a wonderful life. I should have been dead 10 times over.  I believe in miracles and it’s an absolute miracle I’m still around”

 After all these years he still regrets that the 1972  “The Last Movie” was shelved by Universal Studios  after just a brief\ run — and that its failure led to the studio dropping him from its roster of talent and his ending up persona non grata in Hollywood for years.

 He still defends “The Last Movie,” though it was ravaged by critics here.  “It won the Venice Film Festival,” he reminds. He doesn’t defend his behavior making the movie that was considered such an important project Life magazine had a reporter follow the actor to Peru.  The subsequent location story branded Hopper as “a sullen renegade who talks revolution, settles arguments with karate, goes to bed with groups and has taken trips on everything you can swallow or shoot.” 

Dennis won’t argue that he engaged in years of outrageous behavior.  He’s just glad “I got through it and have ended up with a wonderful life.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  Mekhi Pfifer tells us he was already a big fan of Fox’s “Lie to Me” – in which Tim Roth’s character has acute capabilities to perceive lies – before ever having a clue that he would eventually join the cast of the crime drama.  In fact, he says, “I TiVo’ed it from the first episode.  It’s obviously more than just a procedural show.  It’s not like watching ‘CSI.’  Nothing against ‘CSI,’ but this goes a different way, with Tim’s ability to read people’s micro expressions and things of that nature.”  So, when the chance came around to play the FBI agent involved with Roth’s group, says Mekhi, “I was very flattered, and glad to have the chance to play a character with a sense of strength, intrigue and unpredictability.”  His character was introduced the final two episodes last season, and will be a regular when the show returns Sept. 28.

The long-time “ER” doc says “Lie to Me” also worked out perfectly for him personally speaking.  “Doing a good series allows me to be multi-dimensional.  I can be here in town, work and make great money for my family, and do rewarding work.  I’ve been on an ensemble before, obviously, with ‘ER,’ and the hours are very livable.  You have strong episodes where you have to do a hell of a lot and work long hours, and then you have episodes that are not so hectic.”

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:  A sequel to 1993’s harrowing film about girls in the Latino gang world of East L.A., “Mi Vida Loca,” is on the way to production.  Stars Seidy Lopez and Angel Aviles are back to reprise their roles as best friends from childhood, whose relationship was sorely tested in the original movie when one slept with, and became pregnant by, the other’s boyfriend.  The new film’s called “Smile Now Cry Later,” as in the slogan about entering gang life.

TV TRAUMAS:  Casting notices have gone out for a redo of the pilot for CBS’s “Miami Trauma” — not to be confused with NBC’s soon-due “Trauma” — including a new costar role of a fiftyish, reliable and capable nurse.  The show is from Jerry Bruckheimer, who can afford to go back and get it right.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC:   They’re looking for four Elton Johns – at age five, age 12, in his twenties and in his forties – for a musical tribute to the legendary singer-composer, “Rocket Man,” planned for unveiling next April in San Bernardino, CA.  Also wanted are peformers to play Bernie Taupin, Patti LaBelle and…Princess Margaret. 

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster