The actor/director/photographer Dennis Hopper passed away today after a fight with prostate cancer — and more important, after a long, always-interesting career in films.
He gave some amazing performances. Apocalypse Now (1979), Hoosiers and Blue Velvet (both 1986) quickly come to mind.
I’m sure there will be plenty of discussion of his life and work over the next few weeks. And I imagine very little of it will involve Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) or From Hell To Texas (1958). Of the second one, he said:
“I got into a lot of trouble on that… It wasn’t like somebody sent a black ball around after that, but word got around that I wasn’t somebody you wanted to work with. Soon after that, I was dropped from my contract at Warner Bros.. I went back to New York and I studied with Strasberg for five years. I didn’t have another major role in a studio picture for nearly 10 years, until Hathaway hired me again for The Sons of Katie Elder in ’65.”
You’ll find the entire interview here, where he discusses his clash(es) with Henry Hathaway. And here’s an incredible photo I came across of Hopper with John Ford and John Huston.